On January 21, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) updated its guidance on COVID-19 workplace testing. The guidance emphasizes that workplace-based testing should not be conducted without employees informed consent so they understand the testing process and may act independently to make choices that align with their values, goals, and preferences.
The guidance details the disclosures that an employer must provide to its employees, for instance:
- Test manufacturer, name, purpose, and type.
- How the test will be performed.
- Known and potential risks of harm, discomforts, and benefits of the test.
- What a positive or negative test result means, including:
- Test reliability and limitations; and
- Public health guidance to isolate or quarantine at home, if applicable.
The guidance also addresses topics employers should be prepared to discuss with their employees, such as test scheduling and payment, testing sites, communication and interpretation of results, employee privacy, and how to get assistance.
The CDC also provides a SARS-CoV-2 Testing Strategy: Considerations for Non-Healthcare Workplaces website, updated October 21, 2020, which identifies additional, important disclosures that employers should give to employees contemplating testing.