Long COVID and Disability: What Employers Need to Know

Long Covid

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has brought about unprecedented challenges for individuals and businesses worldwide. Among those challenges is the prevalence of long COVID, a condition that affects a significant number of people who have contracted the virus. While the medical community is still learning about the long-term effects of COVID-19, it is clear that those who suffer from long COVID can experience a range of debilitating symptoms for an extended period.

Recently, a former employee of McKinsey & Company filed a lawsuit in the United States against Unum, alleging that the insurance company wrongly denied her claim for disability benefits related to long COVID. The case highlights the legal issues surrounding the intersection of COVID-19 and employment law, particularly with respect to accommodation for disability.

In Ontario, it’s essential to understand the implications of this case for employers. First and foremost, it’s critical to ensure compliance with employment laws related to accommodation for disability. Employers should be familiar with the duty to accommodate up to undue hardship and the importance of providing reasonable accommodation to employees with disabilities, including those with long COVID.

How can I prepare for disability-related accommodation?

Employers should also be prepared to handle requests for disability-related accommodation from employees suffering from long COVID. This may include providing alternative work arrangements, such as remote work, modifying work duties or schedules, or providing assistive devices or equipment.

What type of policies should I have in place?

Furthermore, employers should have clear policies and procedures in place for handling disability claims and ensuring compliance with the legal obligations related to accommodation for disability. It’s also important to provide education and training to managers and supervisors to ensure they know their obligations under employment laws related to accommodation for disability.

Are there other ways to support those with Long COVID?

Finally, employers should provide support and resources to employees who are suffering from long COVID. This may include access to medical treatment, mental health resources, and support groups. By providing these resources, employers can help ensure that their employees receive the care and support they need while navigating the challenges of long COVID.

In conclusion, the recent US lawsuit filed by the former McKinsey employee highlights the importance of employers understanding the legal obligations related to disability-related accommodation in the context of long COVID. By taking proactive steps to ensure compliance with employment laws and providing support to employees, employers can help to mitigate the impact of long COVID and support their employees through these challenging times.

Contact Minken Employment Lawyers Today

If you’re an employer who needs guidance on accommodation for disability related to long COVID or any other employment matter, contact an experienced employment lawyer at Minken Employment Lawyers. We can be reached at: 905-477-7011 | Toll-Free: 1-866-477-7011 | contact@minken.com.

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Please note that this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

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