Can My Company Require Temperature Checks?


Johnny C. Taylor Jr., a human resources expert, is tackling your questions as part of a series for USA TODAY. Taylor is president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management, the world's largest HR professional society.

Question: My company is starting conversations about returning to work. One of the stipulations is that we get a temperature screening before we come into the office each day. Isn't this an invasion of health privacy? If I feel fine, why should I be subjected to a screening? – Anonymous

In short, yes, your employer can require temperature screenings during this outbreak. That said, here’s the longer answer.

Ordinarily, taking employee temperatures would be a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). However, these are extraordinary times.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued guidance that allows organizations to ask employees if they’ve experienced symptoms associated with COVID-19 and check their temperatures. In fact, some states have mandated that employers must check employee temperatures every day.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 has an incubation period of up to 14 days. This means even if you feel fine, you could be unknowingly spreading the virus to the people around you for as long as two weeks. Catching an elevated temperature early on mitigates that risk.

While I’m no doctor, I do know employers are obliged to ensure the workplace is reasonably safe. Temperature screenings, whether done at work or by employees at home, can be an important precaution to protect workers and the workplace. While it is a departure from normalcy, this measure – like facemasks, hand-washing, and social distancing – is intended to protect the health of both the workforce and the public.

My view, however, is we’re all adults. If you wake up feeling sick or exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., fever, coughing, shortness of breath) as described by the CDC, trust your gut and stay home.

I know some of these measures may seem bothersome. But they are sensible steps that can give employees peace of mind, and help us all return to work swiftly and safely.

Automated Temperature Screening is effortless and creates a safe trusted environment that eases the tension, fear, and anxiety people often feel after a pandemic. 

Automated Pass Management Temperature Screening Device. This device requires no physical interaction. Simply look at the camera and get the temperature in 1 second. Facial recognition checks-in and maintains records of the individual temperatures. Designed to help protect the health and safety of both employees and guests by preventing anyone with a temperature from entering a facility. it’s the perfect solution for office buildings, warehouses, schools, government buildings, museums, sports arenas, theme parks, movie theaters, gyms, rail stations, hotels, restaurants, or practically any public venue.

Protect your employees and customers with minimal distraction and effort.

TempSafe Technology makes temperature screening easy. Explore our site to learn more about our Temperature Screening products.

Temperature Screening Solution

Safely screen employees and visitors for high temperature as they walk into a building or a defined area. The system can prevent people from entering if the pre-defined temperature threshold is exceeded or are not wearing a mask, and trigger an alarm.

  • Provides fast and accurate body-temperature measurement
  • Detects if a protective mask is being worn
  • Users can be denied door or system access if a high temperature or no mask is detected
  • Alarm options include strobe light, siren and popup on PC workstation 
  • Saves data in personnel safety log and verifies records.
  • Data, alerts and reporting available

The solution combines a thermal camera and our latest face, palm and fingerprint recognition technology for employee authentication, providing advanced security and convenience, all on a single affordable device.

Used to help screen potentially affected people in the workplace and public venues:

Schools, airports, hospitals, construction sites, correctional institutions, government and office buildings

No Touch Biometric Reader

Embedded face & palm recognition sensor provides 100% hands-free hygienic user authentication.

  • Used for various applications including Access Control, Time & Attendance, Visitor Management, Event Management & more
  • User authentication read range up to 8 feet
  • Face verification possible while wearing protective mask (Palm recognition advised while wearing mask)
  • Dual-lens IR & VL camera recognizes faces in both total darkness and bright sunlight 
  • Access Levels, Groups, Holidays, DST, Duress Mode (password), Anti-Passback, Record Query
  • Interfaces with
    • KeyTracer Key Control Systems
    • AssetTracer Smart Locker Systems
    • Various Access Control Systems