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EEOC Updates Guidance for Employers – March 19, 2020

Teresa R. Tracyby Teresa R. Tracy

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency that enforces federal non-discrimination laws, has issued two publications addressing employer obligations and restrictions in connection with pandemics. The first one, which was issued during the prior H1N1 outbreak, is still relevant. It can be accessed here. On March 18, 2020, the EEOC issued a second publication specifically dealing with COVID-19. It answers many of the common questions that employers have. It can be accessed here.

The EEOC specifically reminded employers that, while federal non-discrimination laws continue to apply, they do not interfere with or prevent employers from following the guidelines and suggestions made by the CDC or state/local public health authorities about steps employers should take regarding COVID-19. The EEOC also acknowledged that guidance from public health authorities is likely to change as the current pandemic evolves, and that employers should continue to follow the most current information on maintaining workplace safety.

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