ADA considerations for employers during the COVID-19 pandemic

May 6, 2020

The ADA and Rehabilitation Act guidance continues to apply and should not interfere with or prevent employers from following CDC guidelines during COVID-19.

However, guidance is ever changing, and employers need to consider how to protect their workforce while remaining compliant with reasonable accommodation requirements under the ADA. Can an employer take temperatures and send employees home? Can an employer screen applicants for symptoms of COVID-19?

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Tamika Newson headshot

Tamika Newson

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.

Danette Washum headshot

Danette Washum

ADA Manager, Unum

Danette Washum has worked at Unum for 14 years. She started her career as a FMLA Specialist before transitioning into FMLA Consultant and Quality Compliance Specialist roles. She was then promoted to become Unum’s first ADA Specialist. Danette is currently an ADA Manager responsible for the ADA team’s individual performance as well as Internal, Field, Employer, Marketing, Broker and Underwriting relationships.

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