COVID 19 Texas Employer Guide – Checking Employees’ Temperature At Work

Covid 19Over the next several days, I am providing a break down of the new employment laws and guidances issued by various government agencies that Texas employers should know about when dealing with COVID-19.

If you have any questions as to how this information applies to your particular situation, contact me at Leiza.Dolghih@lewisbrisbois.com.

Many employers who are still operating have resorted to taking employees’ temperatures at work as one of the precautions.  Some are wondering whether this is permissible.  The answer is “Yes,” according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Generally speaking, under the American with Disabilities Act, measuring an employee’s temperature at work is considered a medical examination, which is something that an employer should not engage in or require.

However, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently issued a guidance stating that:

“Because the CDC and state/local health authorities have acknowledged community spread of COVID-19 and issued attendant precautions, employers may measure employees’ body temperature.”

Similarly, according to the EEOC:

“Employers may also take an applicant’s temperature as part of a post-offer, pre-employment medical exam.”

However, EEOC warns that employers should be aware that some people with COVID-19 do not have a fever.

Leiza Dolghih is a labor and employment board certified partner at Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP in Dallas, Texas and a Co-Chair of the firm’s Trade Secrets and Non-Compete Disputes national practice. Her practice includes commercial, intellectual property and employment litigation. You can contact her directly at Leiza.Dolghih@LewisBrisbois.com or (214) 722-7108.

One comment

  1. Why does the EEOC have a say in this? I can see it applying if I’m trying to get a job but what if say I’m a massage therapist and self employed and rent a room in a gym to work out of? Can the gym treat me like an employee and “check my temperature?! Even though I am self employed? . I really need to hear from someone on this matter please.

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