Family Healthcast: What can my employer require during the pandemic?

Local News

(WSYR-TV) — With Onondaga County beginning the process of reopening on Friday, many people who have been staying home for the past nine weeks will be going back to work.

This leaves these employees with several questions:

Does my employer have the right to take my temperature?

Temperature screening is allowed due to the virus. Under normal circumstances, the answer would be no, but the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has determined that, given the risks, temperature screenings by employers is allowed.

But, employers should be aware that some people with COVID-19 do not have a fever or any symptoms at all.

Do I have to report any COVID-19 symptoms to my employer?

Pandemic conditions can require reporting of symptoms, but information should stay confidential. You can be sent home if you are symptomatic. So, the answer is yes since we are operating in pandemic conditions.

It is recommended that employers require a simple, daily health questionnaire and that workers proactively report any symptoms.

When they come up with a vaccine, can my employer require that I get it?

Employers can require vaccines during the pandemic, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

You could get an exemption if the vaccine would interfere with a medical condition or violate your religious beliefs.

With many people going back to work and many others going shopping and being out more than they have, Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said to be cautious.

As we reopen, it will be even more important to wear masks, social distance and avoid crowds.

As always, stay home and stay safe.

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