Can We Screen Our Employees for Symptoms of COVID-19?
Yes. Common screening mechanisms include written questionnaires and temperature checks. Employees may also visually inspect employees or require employees to “self-report” COVID-19 symptoms. Whatever screening technique is used, it is important to clearly explain in writing to employees:
- The specific screening process you will utilize
- General benchmarks for passing the screenings (i.e. must have temperature below 100.4ºF)
- Your expectations around your employees’ compliance with your process and any consequences for a refusal to participate
- How you will protect employee privacy
- Consequences of an unsuccessful screen (i.e. being sent home from the workplace).
- Employers must also make sure that the employees or contractors administering the screening are properly trained and that they obtain appropriate acknowledgments from employees.
You should aim to ensure that screening does not go further than necessary by keeping it narrowly focused on assessing the COVID-19 threat. Symptom-based questions should focus on whether or not the employee is experiencing symptoms identified by the most-recent CDC guidance, which currently include: cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing or at least two of the following symptoms: fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) and other governmental bodies have generally sanctioned temperature screening of employees, which should check for basal temperatures over 100.4ºF (per the CDC’s guidance or as dictated by your local public health authorities). You could conduct such a check at the beginning of the employee’s workday (which will also reduce the possibility of a potentially sick employee coming into contact with others prior to their temperature check), at random and/or set times during the workday, and/or after observation of an employee exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.
Source: The National Law Review.
TheProcuro PIMM Health Check APP provides a non-intrusive way of protecting worker safety in offices, plants, warehouses and retail outlets in light of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Global Pandemic.
Procuro is a software and services company that specializes in Cold Chain Management solutions for the Food, Pharma and Chemical industries. Procuro offers a series of Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings under the PIMM™/iPIMM™ brand, which provides monitoring, product traceability, and end-to-end visibility for our customers and their supply chain partners.