A large institution asks all employees to disclose symptoms, daily temperature, whether or not they are smokers, vaccine status, family health history, and all other personal health information, including mental health information, to their managers. The institution states that this information is to be used to assess workplace safety in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Which of the following is the most accurate statement?

A. Employees are never required to provide personal health information, including mental health information, to their employers.
B. Employees must always provide personal health information, including mental health information, to their employers.
C. Employers are obligated to obtain all personal health information, including mental health information, from their employees during a pandemic.
D. Employers may, in times of a national emergency, request that employees provide relevant health information voluntarily to address workplace health issues.
E. Employers may never request personal health information, including mental health information, of their employees.

The Americans with Disabilities Act “prohibits an employer from making disability-related inquiries and requiring medical examinations, except under limited circumstances” (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 2020b). Asking employees about influenza-like symptoms is permitted. If federal and public officials deem a pandemic to be severe, and sufficient objective evidence exists that employees face a direct threat of substantial harm, employers may inquire regarding disabilities or require medical examinations (e.g., the taking of body temperature). Employers are required to keep any and all health information confidential, including voluntarily disclosures of disability. CDC guidance encourages in-person or virtual health checks and workplace-based testing as part of a workplace preparedness, response, and control plan for COVID-19. Employee health screenings should check for the presence of fever and symptoms of COVID-19 and should be conducted as privately as possible. (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 USC § 12112, 2009; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2021; U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 2020b)