Under the ADA, workplace medical testing must be job-related and consistent with business necessity. Because COVID-19 poses a direct threat to a workplace, employers are allowed to take temperatures to ensure no employees come to work sick. However, antibody testing doesn’t mitigate a direct threat of infection, but can notify employers of those who have immunity.
Testing for antibodies is problematic because it can create a class of ‘immune’ employees who are treated differently than those without the antibodies. These individuals may be seen as less at-risk of becoming ill and therefore given more work or allowed to do more desirable work–like working with customers as opposed to working in the back room.
Best practices for implementing antibody testing include avoiding employment decisions based on antibody testing and making antibody testing optional.
If you have questions about antibody testing in the workplace, contact us for a free, 30-minute consultation with an employment lawyer.