April 30, 2020 by Southern Maine Workers Center

Is my employer required to provide me with reasonable accommodations related to the Coronavirus?

If you have a compromised immune system or another medical condition impacted by COVID-19 (including mental health conditions like anxiety disorders), your employer may be required to provide you with a reasonable accommodation like telecommuting or protective equipment, unless doing so would cause the employer an undue hardship.  

Common cold or seasonal flu symptoms are usually not considered a disability and will not be entitled to accommodations.  However, COVID-19 might be considered a disability.  If you have COVID-19, particularly if your symptoms are severe, your employer may be required to explore changes that allow you to continue your job or take time off from work.

Your employer is required to keep confidential any information that you disclose during the reasonable accommodation process. For more information about the definition of a disability and requesting a reasonable accommodation, please see this resource from Disability Rights Maine, or refer to page 25 of the WORK Manual.

DISCLAIMER: This FAQ Sheet is intended to provide accurate, general background information regarding legal rights relating to employment in Maine. It is not legal advice. Because laws and legal procedures are subject to differing interpretations and frequent change, particularly in an emergency, the authors cannot ensure the information is current or be responsible for how the information is used. Do not rely on this information without consulting an attorney or the appropriate agency about your rights in your particular situation.