WELL ISN’T THIS AN INTERESTING UNION COVID RESPONSE
Some enterprising legal eagles in New York City just filed a class action lawsuit claiming that an employer must provide reasonable accommodations to employees at risk of catching COVID-19 at the job site. Their claim is based on the requirements of the ADAAA and Rehabilitation Act. So, how long will it be before some federal union files a similar claim with EEOC to force an employer to provide fed employees reasonable accommodation? It is unlikely the union could file on behalf of all federal employees at once or even all in one bargaining unit. But if they narrow the class to those with common employment conditions this just might work. Legal action might be all it takes to force an agency to allow employees to continue to telework despite the President groveling for someone—anyone—to go back to the office. If an agency does no relent, then the employees just might be eligible for reinstatement of any leave they have to take, compensatory damages, attorney fees, and a few other remedies. If you want to know more about an employee’s right to a reasonable accommodation to deal with COVID-19, check out Section D of this new EEOC issuances.