In this episode of The Workplace podcast, CalChamber Executive Vice President and General Counsel Erika Frank is joined by employment law experts Bianca Saad and Matthew Roberts to discuss the most common COVID-19-related questions employers have been asking the CalChamber’s Labor Law Helpline this month, including requiring test results, what to do if an employee doesn’t want to return to work, workplace mask obligations, and mental health considerations.
This podcast was recorded on July 20. Listeners should be aware that given the unpredictability of the COVID-19 crisis, government guidance and mandates may be altered at any time. Information presented in this podcast is accurate as of July 20, 2020. Watch Video
Many of the questions that come through the Labor Law Helpline, Frank says, deal with COVID-19 testing. Can employers, she asks, require that an employee, who previously tested positive for COVID-19, submit a negative COVID-19 test result before returning to work?
At the moment there is no guidance that allows employers to establish such a requirement, Saad replies. Moreover, employers cannot require employees to submit test results in any capacity—even to prove that the employee is indeed positive for COVID-19.
Per Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidance, however, employers may ask for a note from a medical professional that clears the employee to return to work, Saad says.