Campus Accommodations and Impacts
Any discussion of how institutions and employers should handle COVID-19 must consider not only potential changes in the transmissibility and severity of new variations but the risks and effects of Long COVID. An estimated 10-23 million people in the U.S. have Long COVID symptoms, many severe. While research and data are limited, the risks of getting Long COVID each time a person is infected are not small: 10% for those fully vaccinated, and 10-30% for those unvaccinated. Each infection potentially increases the risks. The range and severity of symptoms is daunting. Physicians are often slow to recognize Long COVID, and there is no standard diagnosis or treatment.
There is a myriad of impacts for employers and institutions. The obvious is potential accommodations under the ADA, FMLA and other laws; but the challenge is the uncertainty of the length of potential effects, which are all case-by-case. Disability Insurance carriers are hesitant to cover Long COVID claims, given the uncertainty. The practical impact is that a percentage of your workforce may be incapacitated for long periods of time, as well as a smaller percentage of students.
Long COVID is already having other societal effects, including an increased effect in disability rights advocacy by millions of newly diagnosed individuals with chronic symptoms.
This online training focuses on the definition of Long COVID; what is known and the areas of research; when COVID-19 can be a disability; and various types of accommodations for students and employees with Long COVID. Related issues, including STD and LDC coverage, and the wider societal implications, are also covered.
Between widespread COVID fatigue after two years, and widespread infections (and re-infections) due to omicron variations, the disappearance of public safety measures, and the absence of data, there is a widespread attitude that we just need to live with this. The short and long-term consequences are being ignored, at least for now. Institutions need to understand the risks they face, and be prepared for the impacts, both for Fall 2022 and beyond.
As a result of this webinar, you will gain actionable takeaways so you can:
- Understand the definition of Long COVID, the nature and range of how it can affect individuals, and the areas of uncertainty regarding this new disability – prepare for the impacts, for Fall 2022 and beyond.
- Learn how the EEOC, DOJ and OCR are classifying Long COVID under the ADA and Section 504, and the potential risks of claims by employees and students – have your responses ready for accommodation requests so you can be confident in your decisions.
- Understand how the various types of accommodations for employees and students apply or do not apply to a condition that can vary widely in its impact and can become a long-term chronic condition – avoid a legal quagmire caused by confusion and lack of confidence about how to proceed.
- Consider the potential implications of Long COVID on STD, LTD and other insured benefits, leave policies, return to campus policies and other issues.
- Recommendations for how the traditional defenses of undue hardship/burden and fundamental alteration can be applied to Long COVID – properly document to defend your decisions to not provide particular accommodations for virtual learning.
Suggested Audience: This session will be directed to College and university Academic Administrators (Provost, Deans and Chairs), Student Affairs, Disability Services, Human Resources and Legal Counsel responsible for developing and implementing policies and accommodation issues under the ADA, Section 504 and other laws.
Robert L. Dustin is a Partner with Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr, LLP.
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Marisa De Feo is a Partner with Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr, LLP.
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Included When You Purchase
- 90-minute online session with carefully selected expert(s)
- Unlimited access to view webinar recording on demand
- Materials for your team (handouts, discussion questions, etc.)
- Certificate of completion for each participant
- Weekly newsletter – What's Working on Campus
Instructions for access are available immediately upon checkout. You may share this On-Demand Training with any staff members from your campus community for unlimited viewing. For information about licensing this webinar for unlimited distribution on your institution’s internal network/server, email email@example.com.