As employers start planning their return to work strategies, there is new guidance regarding antibody tests. The NBA reinstates drug testing – with one big change, and the NFL is really thankful it asked for a background check. Get the details in EBI’s Screening News Weekly Wrap.
Employers can NOT Require Antibody Testing
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued new guidance that could affect your return to work planning. The agency says employers may not use COVID-19 antibody tests to make decisions about who can return. This guidance closely mirrors recent guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
At first, antibody testing seemed like a logical option for clearing people to come back to work. The thought was, if you have antibodies, you have not only been exposed to the virus, but would then be immune to future infection. Unfortunately, the CDC guidance now says that assumption may not be accurate.
While employers will not be allowed to require the antibody testing, they will be permitted to ask some employees to take a COVID-19 test. The COVID-19 test shows if someone actively has the virus and would be able to transmit it to others. This test would only be allowed for positions that require a mandatory medical exam, and employers would have to follow all rules associated with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Can They, or Can’t They?
Just like everything else, COVID-19 shut down professional basketball. When that happened, the NBA reached an agreement with the players’ union to suspend all drug testing.
The league has now come up with a unique way to actually have a season. It is creating a round robin tournament at Walt Disney World in Orlando. All of the players will stay at local hotels, and all games will be played at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
With the return of competition comes the return of drug testing, but it will be very different than before COVID-19. Starting on July 7th, random tests will be reinstated. The difference is, these tests will only look for performance-enhancing drugs, or PEDs.
While players will not be tested for marijuana - which is now legal in many of their home states - the league insists it is not condoning the use of recreational drugs. In fact, players will still face disciplinary action if they are caught possessing - or under the influence of - any illegal substance, including marijuana.
Money Can't Buy You Out of a Bad Background Check
The high bidder in an NFL fundraiser wasn’t allowed to claim his prize because he failed a background check.
Dave Portnoy, the founder of the blog Barstool Sports, bid a quarter-of-a-million dollars to win the chance to watch Monday Night Football with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The auction was held during the draft in April, and the league says passing a background check was a clearly stated prerequisite for anyone who won.
Unfortunately, Portnoy has had a slew of run-ins with the NFL in a longstanding feud. He has faked credentials, staged protests, was banned from attending Super Bowl 53, and then physically dragged out when he showed up anyway. He even posted a naked picture of Tom Brady’s 2-year-old son on his blog.
Thinking ahead about requiring that background check saved Goodell and his entire team quite a few headaches.
Portnoy’s credit card was never charged. Instead, the NFL spread $250,000 of its own money across the charities and will choose a “deserving front line worker” from the pandemic to have the experience of watching the game with the commissioner.