HHS Addresses Application of ADA and Section 1557 Nondiscrimination Rules to “Long COVID”

Steering on “Lengthy COVID” as a Incapacity Below the ADA, Part 504, and Part 1557 (July 26, 2021)


Press Release

HHS has issued steerage advising that “lengthy COVID” could be a incapacity underneath Titles II (state and native authorities) and III (public lodging) of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Part 1557 of the Reasonably priced Care Act. Referring to people who proceed to expertise COVID-19 signs months after first being contaminated, or who’ve new or recurring signs at a later time, the steerage explains that lengthy COVID could be a incapacity underneath the ADA and Part 1557 if it considerably limits a number of main life actions. The steerage warns that people with lengthy COVID that qualifies as a incapacity are entitled to the identical protections from discrimination as some other individuals with disabilities underneath the ADA and Part 1557. The steerage notes that it doesn’t handle examples of cheap lodging or nondiscrimination in employment underneath Title I of the ADA—including that employment points associated to COVID-19 are mentioned in earlier EEOC steerage (see our Checkpoint article)—however states that the ADA’s definition of incapacity applies to all components of the ADA.

EBIA Remark: For worker profit functions, this HHS launch (issued on the ADA’s thirty first anniversary) primarily serves as a reminder of the EEOC’s COVID-19-related steerage. Though the EEOC has not but addressed lengthy COVID, the DOL has acknowledged on its website that staff experiencing lengthy COVID could also be entitled to office lodging underneath the ADA. Employers ought to be certain that profit plans and wellness applications don’t discriminate in opposition to people who’ve this situation. For extra data, see EBIA’s Group Health Plan Mandates handbook at Sections XVI (“COVID-19: Mandated Protection and Different Necessities”), XX.C (“What Is a Incapacity Below the ADA?”), and XXI.M.1 (“Interplay of Title VII and Part 1557”). See additionally EBIA’s Health Care Reform handbook at Part XXXIV.A (“Part 1557 Nondiscrimination: Grounds Prohibited Below Federal Legal guidelines”).

Contributing Editors: EBIA Workers.

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