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The Law & You

Can Employers Take Essential Employees’ Temperatures?

The Law & You
April 6, 2020

The Law and You

Can Employers Take Essential Employees’ Temperatures?

Haley Bianco: It’s time now for “The Law & You.” Joining us from home is Attorneys Greg Fellerman and Ed Ciarimboli back with us. It’s nice to you see you both. How are you holding up there?

Ed Ciarimboli: Doing okay. Back in my kitchen

Greg Fellerman: Where here

Haley Bianco: You’re here. Alright, well let’s not waste any more time. Let’s get to today’s question from Bill from Jenkins Townships. He’s asking “Can employers take the temperatures of employees required to work for businesses that are allowed to be open during this time?” A great question. What do you have to say about this? Legally can they do this?

Ed Ciarimboli: So, this really, it is really a great question. And obviously a very timely question. And I did some research on this last night. So normally that would be considered an overly broad medical examination that would be barred under the EEOC, the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, but on March 19th, 2020, there was a guideline that was amended specifically for COVID-19 and it basically it said that if there’s if the pandemic symptoms become worse, more severe than the seasonal flu, or if you were in a community that by state or local health authorities has been considered, you know, an area where there’s a spread of COVID, the employers are allowed to take the temperature of the employee coming into work. Greg has recently been appointed to the Luzerne County Commission on COVID so I want to kick it to Greg to talk about exactly what Luzerne County has been identified as and whether we’re in a sheltered place, and all that kind of stuff because I do think that employers will be able to do this right now.

Greg Fellerman: Well, I agree with that. I think, you know, with the times changing, they have to put the safety of their employees first. And I think that’s a reasonable expectation. You know I’ve been appointed to this Luzerne County Task Force to help them deal with these issues that pop up. There are multiple issues, conference calls coming up, but I mean right now I think just what I just talked about is pretty reasonable based upon the conditions were living in. And you may see more, a little more invasive, just to protect to come to a public policy, public safety argument, so I think, you’re going to see a little more of this.

Haley Bianco: Alright. Some great information today. Both of you, thank you for your time.

Greg Fellerman: You’re welcome

Haley Bianco: If you have questions for the Law And You just go to PAHomepage.com.

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The Law & You is a nightly feature on channels WBRE-TV 28 and WYOU-TV 22 where the attorneys from Fellerman & Ciarimboli answer legal questions. If you have a question that you want answered by the Law & You attorneys, please submit the form on this page or call the hotline at 1-888-570-HURT.

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