HR Home Forums Answer for We are a Transportation Company. We fall under Federal Legislation. Under Covid – 19 we would be considered an “essential service.” We have some work places in high risk provincies such as Ontario, BC and Alberta. 1. Are we (the Employer) legally allowed to take employees tempratures before they enter the building? 2. If our builidng is leased can the Landloard take the temprature of our employees prior to allowing them to enter the building? If yes, are there any rules about what the actual symptomatic temprature is?

Conner Lantz
Keymaster
Post count: 4836

About a week ago, u asked me if it’s permissible for employers to take employees’ temperatures as a screening measure for COVID-19. My answer was an emphatic NO. However, I’ve since learned more about the issue and my views have changed.
My biggest concern was with privacy. But as things develop, I’m realizing that, at least for the moment, health trumps privacy. I’ve also become aware that many employers are, in fact, taking employee temps and that employees actually want to be tested–and also want their coworkers to be tested.

As a result, I’m changing my answer: YES temperature taking may be a reasonable safety measure for COVID-19. But caveats apply:

1. Employees can still withhold consent if they don’t want to be tested; and disciplining them for refusal can get iffy in the event of a grievance or legal challenge;
2. Normal body temperature doesn’t mean a person isn’t carrying COVID-19. Although fever is one symptom of COVID-19, not all carriers have elevated body temperature.

Thank you for asking this important Q and helping me gain a better understanding of this issue. Glenn