Biden Administration moves to include Long-Haul COVID in ADA protections

Coronavirus

COLUMBUS Ga. (WRBL) — The Biden administration has moved to include Long-Haul COVID into Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protections.

This means that people experiencing Long-Haul COVID, also referred to as long COVID, can now ask for accommodations from their employers without fear of retaliation or termination.

“It’s really thinking whether that condition substantially limits one or more major activities,” says Taryn Mackenzie Williams, the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment.

For example: shortness of breath, exertion, extreme fatigue, brain fog, insomnia, or body aches, are some of the symptoms someone with long COVID might experience”

Olive Vidal-Kendall who missed nearly a year of work due to long COVID told WRBL that getting back to work made a world of difference for her.  

“That was truly a blessing that I was once I was well enough to. It meant that I could continue a routine.”

She went on to say, “Which is very important being isolated from everyone except going out to get occupational physical therapy. It kept me in tact with our students at the college as well as with my colleagues”

Olive hopes this will give long COVID survivors like her a chance to keep going, “For those of us who are long haulers and don’t know what the future will bring, since this pandemic is new. We’re not sure what our symptoms will be, and how they will affect us long term. This could make a big difference in the lives of many people as they continue to work.”

Tracie Defreitas, Principal Consultant and ADA Specialist at JAN (Job Accommodation Network), says that “The [Department of Labor] has published a centralized webpage with a variety of COVID related resources available for both employers and employees.”

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