Coronavirus Resources and Guidance for Employers

Please note: Most of the information featured on this page is for historical purposes only. This guidance was issued during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the federal assistance programs listed at the bottom of the page have expired.

Businesses with employees are required to provide a hazard-free workplace under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. At the same time, employers with 15 or more employees must comply with the federal anti-discrimination law, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Resources are now available to assist REALTOR® associations and brokerages who have employees meet their obligations under both federal laws. 

Workplace Vaccination Policies

NAR has provided Guidance for Workplace Vaccination Policies that provides some key takeaways from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s vaccination guidance, to help brokerages and associations formulate a plan to address COVID-19 vaccinations in the workplace. The guidance also addresses independent contractors and in-person events.

OSHA Resources

To remain compliant with OSHA, the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration has compiled its advice for employers in Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19

The guidance provides employers with detailed steps they can take to protect employees, including:

  • Develop an Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response Plan;
  • Prepare to implement basic infection prevention measures;
  • Develop policies and procedures for prompt identification and isolation sick people, if appropriate;
  • Develop, implement, and communicate about workplace flexibilities and protections; and
  • Implement workplace controls.

Sample Policy

NAR has provided a Sample Preparedness Plan for Circumstances Relating to COVID-19 that any real estate brokerage or REALTOR® Association may adapt and implement in their workplaces.

ADA Resources

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the agency that enforces the ADA, has released a "What You Should Know" statement to assist employers who are grappling with employment-related issues due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

To be clear, the ADA rules still apply to employers with more than 15 employees, but they do not interfere with or prevent employers from following the CDC’s guidelines and suggestions for businesses and employers. The CDC is updating this page as more information and guidance become available, so be sure to check it regularly.

Additionally, the EEOC statement directs employers to review their guidance, Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and The Americans with Disabilities Act. Although the guidance was written for an influenza pandemic, now updated for COVID-19. Although the guidance was written for an influence pandemic, it is applicable to the current coronavirus pandemic. The guide is available online and answers questions frequently asked about the workplace during coronavirus-like events, like:

  • May an employer administer a COVID-19 test (a test to detect the presence of the COVID-19 virus) before permitting employees to enter the workplace?
  • How much information may an employer request from an employee who calls in sick, in order to protect the rest of its workforce?
  • When may an ADA-covered employer take the body temperature of employees during a pandemic?
  • Does the ADA allow employers to require employees to stay home if they have symptoms of the pandemic coronavirus?

The EEOC states that during a pandemic, employers should rely on the latest CDC and state or local public health assessments. (A list of state public health departments is available on the CDC website.)  While the EEOC recognizes that public health recommendations may change during a crisis and differ between states, employers are expected to make their best efforts to obtain public health advice that is contemporaneous and appropriate for their location, and to make reasonable assessments of conditions in their workplace based on this information.

Disaster Preparedness Resources

NAR has several guides and tools to assist brokerages and REALTOR® associations create and execute disaster plans:

The coronavirus situation is rapidly changing and evolving. Please be sure to stay up to date by regularly checking, and the Center for Disease Control's website