Long-Haul Covid Discrimination Emerges as Workplace Legal Risk
Labor and Employment attorney Kara Ariail spoke with Bloomberg Law about new guidance from the Biden Administration advising that COVID-19 long-haulers may qualify as having a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Ms. Ariail commented that based on what she's heard about the condition, whose symptoms include chronic fatigue and brain fog, it "pretty clearly fits within the ADA definition of a disability" that triggers the requirement for employers to provide reasonable accommodations. Although from an employer's perspective, cognitive issues are more difficult to accommodate, the guidance nonetheless should help settle some of the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 long-haulers and their requests for accommodations.
"You have to strike the right balance between whether an employee can still perform their job duties," Ms. Ariail explained. "In many ways, the process piece isn't new — I think it's just another challenging situation in terms of evaluating ADA accommodations."