Q: Can my employer (a hospital) ask me if and when I got tested for covid? If yes, do I have to answer?
Can they access my medical records to find this information?
A: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recommends employers ask employees why they refuse to answer or cooperate, an employer like a hospital is probably equipped to discuss the subject with you. However, under the circumstances existing currently, the ADA allows an employer to bar an employee from physical presence in the workplace if the employee refuses to have their temperature taken or refuses to answer questions about whether the employee has COVID-19, has symptoms associated with COVID-19, or has been tested for COVID-19.
EEOC advises employers to follow the guidelines recommended by the CDC and health authorities. The ADA permits mandatory medical test when it is job related and consistent with business necessity. Testing administered by employers consistent with current CDC guidance will meet the ADA’s “business necessity” standard.
Specifically regarding your question the EEOC answered this question: Yes. Employers may ask all employees who will be physically entering the workplace if they have COVID-19 or symptoms associated with COVID-19, and ask if they have been tested for COVID-19. An employer may exclude those with COVID-19, or symptoms associated with COVID-19, from the workplace because, as EEOC has stated, their presence would pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others.
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