U.S. Supreme Court
On January 7, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments concerning the OSHA rule that required employers with at least 100 employees to ensure workers are either vaccinated or tested weekly and wear masks, and also the separate CMS mandate that applies to certain health care workers. The 6th Circuit had lifted a stay imposed by another court concerning the OSHA rule, allowing the rule to remain in effect. The justices of the Supreme Court appeared skeptical of the OSHA mandate, but appeared more receptive to allowing the health care mandate to survive. We are expecting a ruling in the near future.
In updated guidance from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) found at What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws | U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (eeoc.gov), the agency said that an employee's or job applicant's COVID-19-related impairment may qualify as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) even if the worker's initial COVID-19 illness was not covered. A worker's COVID-19 illness will not be considered an ADA disability if the worker experiences mild COVID-19 symptoms that resolve in a few weeks with no other consequences. In that case, the worker would not be entitled to a reasonable accommodation under the Act. Cases of “long Covid” for people with long-term effects from Covid-19 might qualify as a disability that could require a reasonable accommodation.
Free Covid tests
The DOL and CMS have issued guidance concerning the new federal requirement that Covid-19 tests should be made available without charge. The DOL posted a new set of frequently asked questions and answers addressing the new requirement. The CMS issued its own set of FAQs with information for consumers on getting at-home OTC tests with no cost.
John Falcone and Luke Malloy handle employment law matters at PLDR Law. Feel free to contact us if you have questions about this matter.