EEOC Requires Justification for Mandatory COVID-19 Testing
Even though numerous employers have returned to work following the pandemic, many have opted to maintain on-site COVID precautions to err on the safe side. While some organizations have chosen to require proof of vaccination or a negative test result, others have gone as far as mandating onsite testing.
However, on July 12th, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated its technical assistance manual, requiring employers to justify their mandatory COVID-19 testing. What should employers know about this latest update, and how can you ensure that your organization remains compliant?
EEOC Requires Justification for Mandatory Testing
Throughout the pandemic, the EEOC has updated the technical assistance manual regarding the handling of COVID-19 in the workplace to make sure employees stay protected through anti-discrimination laws. In the latest update on July 12th, the EEOC revised their requirements for mandatory testing. The new guidelines state,
“If an employer seeks to implement screening testing for employees, such testing must meet the “business necessity” standard based on relevant facts.”
EEOC continued by outlining for employers possible considerations that would fall under “business necessity,” including the following:
- The level of community transmission
- The vaccination status of employees
- The accuracy and speed of processing for different types of COVID-19 viral tests
- The degree to which breakthrough infections are possible for employees who are “up to date” on vaccinations,
- The ease of transmissibility of the current variant(s)
- The possible severity of illness from the current variant
- What types of contacts employees may have with others in the workplace or elsewhere that they are required to work (e.g., working with medically vulnerable individuals)
- The potential impact on operations if an employee enters the workplace with COVID-19
With this new update, the onus is on employers to ensure compliance regarding any mandatory COVID-19 testing policies. While staying up to date with EEOC policy may cost your organization time and other valuable resources on the front end, it could save your organization a much more costly headache on the backend.
How to Remain Compliant With BerniePortal
If your company currently requires mandatory COVID-19 testing in your workplace or is considering it, it’s crucial to ensure you remain compliant with the EEOC’s guidelines. BerniePortal’s Compliance feature allows small to midsize organizations to stay on top of compliance by maintaining document storage in one central hub, eliminating tedious administrative work.
Suppose your organization finds mandatory COVID-19 testing falls under a business necessity. BerniePortal can help keep track of the compliance paperwork by distributing documents, gathering e-signatures when needed, and sending helpful reminders to employees to ensure timeliness. Your organization can also upload EEOC documents into BerniePortal, allowing you to refer to them anytime.
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