Employers have been struggling with exactly what information they are permitted to disclose to a public health agency when an employee is diagnosed with COVID-19. The EEOC yesterday for the first time advised that, at least under the Americans with Disabilities Act, employers may disclose the employee’s name to the public health agency. However, employers will still need to be mindful of other more stringent state restrictions and privacy concerns. The EEOC also said that a temporary staffing agency or contractor that places an employee in an employer’s workplace may notify the employer if it learns the employee has COVID-19.
Employers should, however, continue to take steps to limit the number of people who know the name of the employee. While it is important to conduct a close contacts analysis and notify co-workers and other individuals who may have come into contact with the employee, employers should not disclose the employee’s identity.
The EEOC also addressed several other important questions from employers in its updated “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws.”