Search Site
Menu

New Legal Concern: Long-Term COVID Discrimination

The Biden administration recently issued guidance that workers with long-term, lingering symptoms of COVID-19 may be protected under federal disability laws.

This guidance brings forth a new area of concern for employers: that they may become targets of litigation if they discriminate against or fail to accommodate a person with such lingering symptoms.

About the guidance

More than 45 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 as of late October. Various studies have shown that approximately 10 percent of people who contract the virus will experience long-term symptoms.

This means more than four million people are likely experiencing long-haul difficulties with the virus, which will have some significant effects on the workforce.

Under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), workers can sue their employers over disability discrimination in decisions regarding employment, as well as over failure to reasonably accommodate certain conditions in ways that include remote work, medical leave or more flexible scheduling.

The greatest risk for ADA workplace litigation involving long-term COVID suffers occurs when workers and employers have to determine whether modifications to a job are reasonable or should be granted. Accommodation requests under the ADA are more likely to go to court when they’ve been denied.

There have been legal questions surrounding whether long COVID meets the definition of a disability under the ADA. However, it appears courts are indeed taking these cases on. A review of federal court cases did find there have been disability discrimination suits already filed by workers who say they are experiencing long-term COVID symptoms.

For more information about workers’ rights under the ADA and the protections available for people who suffer from long COVID, contact an experienced whistleblower attorney at Kardell Law Group.

Honors
Our Office
  • Dallas Office
    4514 Cole Ave
    #600
    Dallas, Texas 75205
    Phone: 214-306-8045
    Fax: 469-729-9926
Testimonials
  • "Steve Kardell was terrific in representing me in some very adversarial discussions with Citigroup and also later represented me in my testimony before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission."  -Richard Bowen, Citigroup Whistleblower

  • "Incredible knowledge of employee related concerns and equally brilliant knowledge of health care regulations, standards of practice. I would recommend this firm to anyone."  -V.B.

  • "Reaching out to Steve Kardell was the best decision I made. His ability to provide immediate insight and direction was very powerful, and a huge relief during a very stressful time period. For anyone struggling with a whistleblower situation, I would highly recommend at least speaking with Steve. After a 10 minute call with him, I had a better understanding of what I was dealing with. Even better, he gave me some immediate hope. In the end Steve did a better job than I thought was possible. Steve was able to get in contact with people in my organization, that I didn’t have access to. Because of his years of experience, he already has contacts in many organizations in Dallas. The entire situation was handled peacefully. I was impressed by his ability to “keep the peace”–rather than creating a battle with the organization. The reason I didn’t reach out to a lawyer initially, was because I thought it would mean an immediate end to any hope of a positive relationship with the company. Steve was able to address my concerns, and in the end I was able to continue to work for them."  -KS

  • "Never thought my career would end like it did after 30 years of service. I was part of the first round of the so called reduction of force. I asked myself how can I be part of this with 30 years of seniority. How did they pick these 90 plus employees? Now, the culture of this organization made you question every decision they made. It wasn’t what you knew it’s was a culture of who you know. Nonetheless, I did not accept their severance package. I immediately starting looking for an attorney who would take on my case. After the initial call to Steve I had hope again. He was open and honest about everything and reassured me he would do his best for me, and he did. I had an awesome outcome. Thanks Steve you’re the best."  -S.S.

FOLLOW US
Facebook Twitter Linkedin RSS Feed JD Supra