Employers may need to grant accommodations to some people experiencing long-term effects of COVID-19, who may qualify as disabled, according to new guidance issued jointly Monday by the Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Justice.
“Although many people with COVID-19 get better within weeks, some people continue to experience symptoms that can last months after first being infected, or may have new or recurring symptoms at a later time,” the agencies said.
Such accommodations for those with“long COVID” could include, for instance, allowing an employee who experiences dizziness when standing to be accompanied by a service animal that is trained to stabilize the individual, according to the guidance.
Long COVID qualifies as a disability under sections 504 and 1557 of the Americans with Disabilities Act if the symptoms limit a person’s ability to perform daily activities, according to the departments.
“We’re bringing agencies together to make sure Americans with long COVID who have a disability have access to the rights and resources that are due under the disability law,” President Joe Biden said Monday at a White House event marking the 31st anniversary of the ADA.