“Long Covid” can be considered a disability
July 29, 2021
The White House announced recently that “long Covid” could be considered a disability under civil rights laws. In case you haven’t heard about “long covid” it’s when people experience Covid-19 symptoms long after clearing the actual virus from their system. Hence the “long” part in the name.
So, basically, long Covid conditions can rise to disability level and accommodations for these conditions will have to be made for folks suffering from the long-term effects of the Rona. As of now we are seeing patients reporting symptoms such as fatigue, difficulty thinking, and chronic pain associated with long covid.
Who qualifies for this new disability?
Long-term Covid can qualify as a disability under federal anti-discrimination laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act.
According to the DOJ, long Covid will be considered a disability “if the person’s condition or any of its symptoms is a ‘physical or mental’ impairment that ‘substantially limits’ one or more major life activities.”
But long Covid is not always considered a disability under the new guidelines. The agency said an “individualized assessment is necessary to determine whether a person’s long COVID condition or any of its symptoms” limits their abilities.
What does it mean for Wisconsin Paychecks?
The Labor Department said that employers must try to reasonably accommodate workers who have been diagnosed with a disability because of long Covid, like by providing modified equipment or work schedules.
However, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which enforces the workplace anti-discrimination provisions of the ADA, has clarified that an employer doesn’t have to provide an accommodation for an employee if it would cause an undue hardship or is too expensive.
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