Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back

Biden Administration Marks ADA Anniversary by Releasing Long COVID Disability Guidance

Written by: Adam M. Hamel

Published in NEHRA News (8/12/2021)

In honor of the 31st anniversary of the enactment of the Americans With Disabilities Act (“ADA”) on July 26, the Biden Administration has announced the release of a package of guidance and resources relating to applicability of disability-related laws and regulations to people with long COVID, sometimes referred to as “COVID Long-Haulers.”

Most people infected with COVID-19 experience acute symptoms of varying severity. However, some people (estimates range from 10% to 30%) can experience more chronic effects after a COVID infection, including fatigue, coughing, breathing problems, fever, joint and muscle pain, and memory problems or “brain fog.” In some cases, these symptoms can last for many months and have a significant effect on patients’ ability to work in the same way they did before becoming infected with the virus.

The Office of Disability Employment Policy (“ODEP”), which is the arm of the Department of Labor that maintains the Job Accommodation Network (“JAN”), has issued guidance suggesting that depending upon the unique facts and circumstances of each case, long COVID may qualify as a disability under the ADA and therefore entitle an employee to accommodations.

Employers should be attuned to, and take seriously, signs that employees are experiencing long COVID and seeking accommodations. As with any employee who may be disabled, employers may not discriminate against COVID long haulers, and employers have an obligation to engage in an interactive process to determine whether an accommodation is necessary and reasonable under the circumstances.

Employers are encouraged to review and update their policies and procedures as necessary and to consult with employment counsel in order to appropriately respond to these situations when they arise.

Integrity and trust

At McLane Middleton we establish and maintain long-standing relationships with our clients to help us better achieve their unique goals over time. This approach to building trust requires that our esteemed lawyers and professionals use their broad, in-depth knowledge and work together with integrity to ascertain sound resolutions to legal matters for their clients.

Strength in numbers

McLane Middleton is made up of more than 105 attorneys who represent a broad range of clients throughout the region, delivering customized solutions. As a firm we are recognized as having the highest legal ability rating. The firm is rated Preeminent by Martindale Hubbell and is recognized as one of the nation's leading law firms in Chambers USA. Our attorneys are distinguished leaders in their respective practice areas.

Meet Our People

Commitment and collaboration

McLane Middleton's versatile group of attorneys and paralegals become trusted authorities on each case through collaboration. We work with our clients to learn their individual needs first and foremost and, together, we develop comprehensive solutions to their specific legal matters. This approach helps us exceed our clients' expectations efficiently and effectively, client by client, case by case.

Practice Areas

A history of excellence

McLane Middleton was established in 1919 in New Hampshire, and has five offices across two states. However, deep historical roots don't allow you to become innate. Our firm is organized, technological, and knowledgeable. Our history means we are recognized. But our reputation is built on the highest quality of service and experience in very specific areas of law.

The Firm

Intelligence paired with action

Our team continuously seeks opportunities to enhance their professional development and put key learnings to action. The pursuit of further insight guides us to volunteer service opportunities, speaking engagements, and teaching roles. Our lawyers are sought after thought leaders across their industries, and recipients of leadership awards throughout the region.