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The Law & You

Does COVID-19 Constitute a Disability?

The Law & You
April 7, 2020

The Law and You

Does COVID-19 Constitute a Disability?

Haley Bianco: It’s that time of the day for “The Law & You.” Joining us today at home once again, we have attorneys Ed Ciarimboli and Greg Fellerman with us. Nice to see both of you!

Ed Ciarimboli: Haley, good to be here from my kitchen again!

Greg Fellerman: Nice to see you.

Haley Bianco: I see the beard is coming in, Ed.

Ed Ciarimboli: Haha, it’s the ‘stay at home’ beard.. Uh, can’t get a razor!

Haley Bianco: Many people in the same boat.

Ed Ciarimboli: Nope, nope.

Haley Bianco: Well, looking good and let’s see if you have a good answer for us today. Let’s get to today’s question. This comes from Rick in Dallas. He says “Does COVID-19 constitute as a ‘disability’ under the American With Disabilities Act currently?” What do you think about this?

Ed Ciarimboli: So, right now, as of today, it does not. And so, the American Disabilities Act, what it basically says is that, essentially, if you have mild or temporary symptoms, it does not qualify. And that’s really across the board – whether it’s COVID or something else. So, right now, if you have the coronavirus, it’s not considered a disability under the American With Disabilities Act. However, there was an amendment to the guidelines and if you do have it, you’re entitled to reasonable accommodations and protection, which would essentially be removal from the workforce and then quarantine. But this law is changing all the time so I want to kick it to Greg and talk about, as an employee, what you should do in order to protect yourself in this particular situation so that if the law does change, you can exercise your rights.

Greg Fellerman: I think it’s simple – just document. Like in any other case, document, document. Make sure you’re keeping records, keeping, you know, if you’re having medical appointments, etc. Keep all that, cause if it changes and it becomes an accepted disability, then you may qualify. I think the other problem is that people are recovering so the disability is short-term, at best. So, let’s see what happens.

Ed Ciarimboli: Yeah, it’s great advice.

Haley Bianco: So, wait and see as this whole thing goes on, what’s going to happen. Both of you, thank you for your time and advice today. If you have questions for them, you can call them directly at their office, you can go to their website, or you can 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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