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March 31, 2020

Calif. DFEH Releases Guidance on COVID-19 Workplace Concerns

Earlier this week, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) released guidance in the form of answers to Frequently Asked Questions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FAQ’s provide guidance related to numerous COVID-19 workplace concerns, including:

  • Whether employers may take employees’ temperatures (yes, for the limited purpose of evaluating the risk that employee poses to others in the workplace as a result of COVID-19)
  • How much information an employer may reveal about employees who come in contact with the virus (no personal information to ensure compliance with privacy laws)
  • May employers ask for the reason an employee is absent from work (yes), and whether employers may require employees to wear personal protective equipment (yes, however subject to the reasonable accommodation standards for employees with disabilities such as requiring non-latex gloves)

The DFEH’s guidance also confirms that an employee may use California Family Rights Act (CFRA) leave if the employee is ill with COVID-19 or is caring for a family member with COVID-19. The DFEH’s guidance generally mirrors guidance issued by the federal agencies.

For more information, please contact Jason Resnick at (949) 885-2253.