- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has cautioned employers against basing decisions on whether to "return persons to the workplace" on serologic tests that "detect waning or past SARS-CoV-2 virus infection."
- However, the agency recommended that those who test positive for anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and "have had a COVID-19-compatible or confirmed illness should follow previous guidance regarding resumption of normal activities, including work."
- Data informing this and future guidance is "rapidly evolving," the CDC noted.
Employers face a multitude of decisions regarding medical testing as employees return or continue to report to work.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) approved workplace COVID-19 testing, but the practicalities pose several challenges that may cause employers to decide not to test for the illness, sources previously told HR Dive. For instance, COVID-19 testing provides results about only one moment in time, so it does not guarantee that an employee or workplace remains virus-free.
Employers may decide to screen workers for certain COVID-19 symptoms, like fevers, another test EEOC has greenlighted. An employer covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) may ask workers experiencing fevers and other symptoms to call in sick, the agency said, but employers must maintain "all information about employee illness as a confidential medical record in compliance with the ADA."
Of course, employers are obligated to apply all medical tests in a non-discriminatory fashion, EEOC has cautioned.