What ADA guidance should campus professionals keep in mind when it comes to return-to-work at this stage of the COVID-19 pandemic? We asked James Koebel, Esq., that Associate General Counsel at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, to share his views: “This probably isn't the answer an already-overwhelmed campus professional wants to hear,” he said. “All of it!”
“The ADA is a relevant consideration for virtually all aspects of campus return-to-work planning. COVID-19 infection can manifest itself as a disability deserving of reasonable accommodation in some individuals. For others, their pre-existing disabilities may need to be accommodated in new ways in order to reduce the risk of infection in the workplace. And still others may require reasonable accommodation as a result of campus measures designed to reduce risk to the workforce (such as campus-wide PPE or telework measures). Finally, it's important to remember that the ADA also protects the confidentiality of certain employee records, such as vaccination records, even for those who do not identify a disability.
“Thankfully, the ADA guidance that has been issued up to this point is much more comprehensive than it was even just 6 months ago. The pandemic has not changed the ADA statute and regulations, but it has forced campus professionals to apply those requirements more frequently and in new ways.”
Hear more from James with our On-Demand Training: ADA and the Current COVID Legal Landscape.