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May 06, 2020

Legal Fact Check explores the legal basis for employers' demands on employees called back into work

WASHINGTON, May 6, 2020 — A new ABA Legal Fact Check posted today examines how COVID-19 is raising questions — and legal challenges — to employers’ actions related to keeping their workplace safe and to workers’ rights to seek reasonable accommodation under federal and state law.

Employers, for example, can now require workers to have their body temperatures taken before punching the time clock every day; previously only physicals could generally be required as a condition of work. While employees have some rights under federal law dealing with a safe workplace, disabilities and age discrimination, the common law doctrine of employment-at-will, which allows an employer to terminate an employee for any reason other than those prohibited by statute, remains in effect during a pandemic. Also, U.S. Supreme Court and other decisions provide limited guidance during this unprecedented pandemic crisis.

ABA Legal Fact Check seeks to help the media and public find dependable answers and explanations to sometimes confusing legal questions and issues. The URL for the site is


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