Are There ADA Protections For Long-Haul Covid?
Long-Haul Covid is defined by the CDC as health issues that persist for four or more weeks after first contracting the Covid-19 virus. It is estimated that anywhere between ten and thirty percent of people who catch the Covid-19 virus will go on to develop chronic Covid symptoms. This can become incredibly difficult for employees who have already used up all of their sick days but are no closer to feeling better or being able to perform their job duties. Luckily, there is a bit of good luck for any Covid long-haulers struggling to get the accommodations that they need. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides protections for people with disabilities, and long-haul Covid likely meets the threshold definition. Knowing your rights is critical because it allows you to know when you are being discriminated against and what legal options are available to you. If you would like personalized feedback based on your specific circumstances, you are encouraged to contact the experienced San Jose employment law attorneys at Costanzo Law Group to schedule a consultation.
Why Does Long-Haul Covid Affect Work Performance?
People suffering long-haul Covid report a host of symptoms that impact their ability to live a full and functional life. For some, the symptoms of the initial Covid virus continue, while for others, new symptoms develop. Weakness, difficulty breathing, headaches, dizziness, difficulty sleeping, and other symptoms, have been reported. The majority of people experiencing long-haul Covid are unable to return to work for at least four weeks, and some people are unable to work for a period of months. Some cases of long Covid are said to still be ongoing up to twelve months after an individual was initially exposed to the virus. With the serious and chronic symptoms and a lack of understanding around long-term Covid, many employees are struggling to get the accommodations as well as the support that they need.
ADA Accommodations and Protections for Long Covid
Under the ADA, any physical or mental disability that significantly impacts your ability to perform a major life activity will qualify for protection. For many, long-haul Covid meets this definition, impairing their ability to perform major life tasks like lifting, thinking, standing, talking, breathing, or getting dressed. ADA protections for long-haul Covid include protection against discrimination and negative employment action based on your illness. Additionally, you are entitled to an interactive reasonable accommodations process. For long-haul Covid, this may involve creating a remote-working arrangement with flexible hours. If you have been denied reasonable accommodations or discriminated against based on your diagnosis, you can sue your employer to recover for all damages suffered as a result of their illegal conduct.
Talk to a California Employment Lawyer
If you believe you have been unfairly discriminated against, fired, or denied reasonable accommodations on the basis of your Covid symptoms or other illness, the experienced California employment attorneys at Costanzo Law Group are ready to help. Contact us today to schedule a personalized consultation.