On June 6, 2020, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an Executive Order (No. 202.38) permitting commercial building owners, retail store owners, and managers of public areas within such buildings and businesses to conduct body temperature checks on any individuals entering their premises.
Owners and managers will have the discretion to prohibit entry to anyone who either refuses to submit to a temperature check or has a body temperature of 100.4 °F or higher. The authority to conduct temperature checks expires on July 6, 2020, unless extended by a subsequent executive order.
Owners and managers should make sure to perform temperature checks in a non-discriminatory manner, avoiding differing treatment of protected categories such as age, gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, and religion. Otherwise, they may be violating disability or discrimination laws such as Americans with Disabilities Act, New York State Human Rights Law, the New York City Human Rights Law, and others.
Employers are also permitted to check employee temperatures. However, employers who conduct temperature checks have additional obligations, including keeping the information confidential and storing such information separately from personnel files.
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