EEOC: Employers May Require Workers Get Tested for Covid-19

In a new April 23, 2020 guidance, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) stated that employers are legally allowed to test employees for Covid-19 before allowing them to enter the workplace.

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, a company may only require their employees undergo medical testing if it is “job related and consistent with business necessity.” According to the new guidance, “[a]pplying this standard to the current circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, employers may take steps to determine if employees entering the workplace have COVID-19 because an individual with the virus will pose a direct threat to the health of others. Therefore an employer may choose to administer COVID-19 testing to employees before they enter the workplace to determine if they have the virus.”

The new guidance cautions employers to ensure the tests are “accurate and reliable.” It also states employers should require their employees to continue good infection control practices such as social distancing and regular hand washing.

The new guidance only appears to pertain to testing for active infections. It does not seem to address antibody testing, where an individual is tested to determine if they ever have been infected in the past.

This is a quickly developing area of law and it is recommended you consult with an attorney regarding your particular situation.

To read all of the EEOC’s Covid-19 guidance on various interpretations of employment laws, click here.

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Workers Allege Missouri Pork Plant is a Public Nuisance

The New York Times published a story this morning about a lawsuit filed by pork plant workers against their employer, Smithfield Foods. The workers allege conditions are so hazardous they constitute a public nuisance because of Covid pandemic. The workers are not seeking monetary damages, rather they are trying to force the plant to implement safety changes and provide adequate PPE.

There is a saying in the law that a document “speaks for itself.” While the Times story described the complaint and quoted people involved in the case, they did not include a link to the actual complaint itself. In fact, they didn’t even specify which Federal district in Missouri the complaint was filed.

The Law Office of Michael J. Gras, LLC believes everyone should be equal before the law. For this to be true, the public needs to have direct access to our legal system.

As such, and for your convenience, we have linked to the Rural Community Workers Alliance et. al v. Smithfields Foods, Inc., et al, WDMO Case No. 5:20-cv-06063-DGK complaint here.

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Recent Posts:

EEOC: Employers May Require Workers Get Tested for Covid-19
In a new April 23, 2020 guidance, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity …
Breaking: State of Missouri Sues China for Covid-19 Pandemic
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmidt filed a four count lawsuit against the …
Covid-19 Litigation: Airlines Sued Over Failure To Refund Tickets
Several class action lawsuits have been filed recently against airlines for their …
Government News Feeds
Below is a list of continuously updated releases from various government agencies. …

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Breaking: State of Missouri Sues China for Covid-19 Pandemic

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmidt filed a four count lawsuit against the People’s Republic of China and other related entities for their alleged role in the Covid-19 pandemic.

The lawsuit alleges causes of action for 1) Public Nuisance, 2) Abnormally Dangerous Activities, 3) Breach of Duty: Allowing Transmission of Covd-19, and 4) Breach of Duty: Hoarding of Personal Protective Equipment.

The lawsuit seeks legal and equitable relief including punitive damages.

Read the complaint here.

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Covid-19 Litigation: Airlines Sued Over Failure To Refund Tickets

Several class action lawsuits have been filed recently against airlines for their failure to refund tickets for flights that have been cancelled due to Covid-19. These lawsuits allege airlines have offered travel credit for cancelled flights instead of cash refunds as required by law.

The complaints allege causes of action for breach of contact, unjust enrichment, fraud, and violations of each state’s consumer protection statutes.

The suits also cite an April 4, 2020 letter from the Department of Transportation reminding the airlines of their obligations to provide cash refunds.

The complaints for three of these suits can be found below:

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Government News Feeds

Below is a list of continuously updated releases from various government agencies. It is provided here as a means to consolidate various government press releases in one place for convenience.

The feeds are automatically updated through RSS. As such, The Law Office of Michael J. Gras is not responsible for the content of these feeds or links. Note: Some government agencies don’t provide RSS capabilities. For those, we included a list of links to their respective news pages at the bottom of the page.

Is there a government agency you’re interested in? Let us know on here and we’ll try our best to add it.

St. Louis County News Feed

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at `https://stlouisco.com/DesktopModules/DigArticle/RSS.ashx?portalid=8&moduleid=7200`; the status code is `200` and content-type is `text/html;charset=UTF-8`

Illinois Dept. of Health

Illinois Department of Professional Regulation

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Good luck.

Mike

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