HR dilemma: Managing COVID 'long-haulers'.

As more employees return to the workplace, an ongoing pandemic problem could create big legal questions for HR. The issue involves COVID "long-haulers" who feel lingering fatigue, "brain fog" and concentration trouble--sometimes months after a minor initial illness.

In a study of 3,700 people who felt these ongoing effects, 45% said they had to reduce their work schedule. And 22% couldn't work at all.

Does FMLA leave apply? Several long-haul conditions easily qualify as chronic serious health conditions under the FMLA. Expect more frequent use of regular and intermittent FMLA leave in the coming months.

Employees may need time off to care for their own serious health conditions or those of ill family members. For example, employees with new COVID-triggered diabetes will be eligible for intermittent FMLA leave to deal with complications and medical appointments as the disease progresses.

Disability and the ADA. It is becoming clear that COVID long-haulers also may qualify as disabled under the ADA. As a result, they will be entitled to the full range of reasonable accommodations available to other disabled applicants...

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