Can Pennsylvania Employers Institute Coronavirus (Covid-19) Temperature Checks at Workplaces?

Date: May 1, 2020
Posted In: DLP Law

The Latest COVID-19 Conundrum: Can Employers Institute Temperature Checks at Workplaces?

As Pennsylvania businesses get ready to re-open, valid concerns remain regarding the continued spread of COVID-19.  The presence of a high fever continues to be one of the main symptoms of the virus.  In order to limit the spread of the virus through infected employees, many employers have indicated that they intend to measure their employees’ body temperatures prior to allowing them to access their facilities.  Is this legal?  Are employees required to submit to such testing?

The simple answer is “yes”.  An international pandemic has been declared by the World Health Organization (WHO).  During a pandemic, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) have implemented several emergency measures to maintain workplace safety.  In addition to requiring employees to submit to body temperature scanning, an employer may also ask employees if they are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat or loss of smell.

Employers may also require employees who become ill with symptoms of COVID-19 to leave the workplace.  Any employee who was diagnosed with the virus and any employee sent home because he was experiencing virus-type symptoms may also be restricted from returning to work until he provides his employer with a note from his physician certifying his fitness for duty.

If you are a business-owner or an employee and you have any questions regarding COVID-19 -related return to work policies and/or procedures, contact one of the attorneys at Dougherty Leventhal & Price, LLP for a free consultation.  Remember: Injury? Call DLP! (570) C-A-L-L-D-L-P. 

John Finnerty
Attorney Finnerty has been representing clients in Northeastern Pennsylvania as an Attorney with Dougherty Leventhal & Price, LLP for over 25 years.