Bloomberg Law
March 16, 2020, 4:49 PMUpdated: March 16, 2020, 9:48 PM

Coronavirus Telework Tests Disability Accommodation Defense (2)

Erin Mulvaney
Erin Mulvaney

Employer arguments against telework as a disability accommodation could be undercut now that coronavirus-related “social distancing” is forcing companies to allow many employees to work from home, legal observers say.

Before the spread of Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, courts for the most part sided with employers that say telework isn’t a “reasonable accommodation” because it prevents employees from performing essential job duties that include in-person attendance. But if mass telework from the pandemic shows that face-to-face interaction isn’t actually necessary to perform those duties, workers may be able to counter that business argument, lawyers say.

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