April 21, 2020
National legal experts Tamika Newson and Ellen McCann discuss recent guidance from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on how the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) impacts employers in the COVID-19 environment. Early on, the EEOC declared COVID-19 as a “direct threat” to the workplace. This means if an employee with COVID-19 presents themselves in the workplace, employers have an opportunity under the ADA to ask specific questions about their symptoms, direct them to not come to the workplace, and monitor when and how they return to work. We discuss this new guidance and best practices for granting accommodations under the ADA during the pandemic.
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Assistant Vice President and Legal Counsel, Unum's Law Group
Tamika Newson joined Unum after 22 years of employment law counseling and litigation as a Partner in several large law firms. Prior to joining Unum, she litigated employment matters nationwide. Tamika advises Human Resources on all employment-related legal issues, with particular emphasis on FMLA, ADA, leaves of absence, wage/hour compliance, military leaves, restrictive covenants and employee-relations issues. She also provides daily legal support to Unum's Leave Management Center and its ADA Services Center. Tamika received her BA from DePauw University and her JD from Hamline University School of Law (now Mitchell Hamline). She is a certified trainer for CE credit and is a frequent national speaker on FMLA and ADA. She has been selected as a “Best Lawyer in America” in the area of employment law every year from 2013 to 2019.
Assistant Vice President, Legal Counsel, Unum's Employment Law Group
Ellen McCann is an acclaimed national speaker on leave management issues, including the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). She is also a certified trainer for the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) and continuing education (CE) credit. As Assistant Vice President, Legal Counsel for Unum’s Employment Law Group, Ellen advises Human Resources on all employment-related legal issues. She also provides legal support to Unum’s Absence Management Center, which provides leave administration services to its customers. Presently, Unum’s leave administration product includes administration of close to 200 state leave laws in addition to FMLA and covers close to 3 million lives. Ellen has been employed by Unum for 23 years and worked for a law firm in Boston for seven years prior to joining Unum.
Unum Content Marketing Manager
Clare Morin is the Content Marketing Manager at Unum and a journalist who’s spent the last 20 years interviewing hundreds of thought leaders on topics ranging from wellness to culture, finance, human resources and technology. Born in the UK, raised in Hong Kong and based in the U.S. since 2009, she brings a global outlook to the HR Trends studio.