While the Ebola virus thankfully has not yet presented a direct threat to most employers, concerns about how to handle employee questions about fear of transmission have arisen. Of particular concern is how an employer should balance the fear and risk of transmission against possible claims of discrimination and obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”).
We also attach a link to the latest CDC guidance. This is a challenging and evolving area. As more guidance is issued, the Kelley Drye Labor and Employment Practice will keep you apprised. Our general advice is, if there is a legitimate reason to believe someone in your workforce has been exposed to the virus, err on the side of employee health. Just be careful that no one allows rumors or bias to overtake facts. When in doubt, call your lawyers.