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COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

COVID-19 Testing Payment Laws and Requirements

By December 1, 2021December 10th, 2021No Comments

This chart represents state laws requiring payment for costs of medical tests and employers’ requirement to pay for COVID-19 tests.

Alabama Hawaii Michigan North Carolina Utah
Alaska Idaho Minnesota North Dakota Vermont
Arizona Illinois Mississippi Ohio Virginia
Arkansas Indiana Missouri Oklahoma Washington
California Iowa Montana Oregon West Virginia
Colorado Kansas Nebraska Pennsylvania Wisconsin
Connecticut Kentucky Nevada Rhode Island Wyoming
Delaware Louisiana New Hampshire South Carolina
District of Columbia Maine New Jersey South Dakota
Florida Maryland New Mexico Tennessee
Georgia Massachusetts New York Texas

 

State

Law

Requirement

Alabama None
Alaska None
Arizona None
Arkansas Ark. Code Ann. § 11-3- 203

 

Ark. Code Ann § 11-5- 118 Requires employer to pay for medical examinations

Requires employer to pay for medical examinations.
Prohibits employee termination for COVID-19 vaccination refusal and requires alternative COVID-19 testing to be paid from available federal and state funds received by the employer such as the American Rescue Plan Act funds. However, if there is no such funding available and the testing is not covered by health insurance, the cost must be covered by the employee.
California CA Labor Code 222.5 Requires employer to pay for medical examinations.
If they require COVID-19 tests, employers must pay for them.
FAQs from the state labor commissioner provide the following information:
Q. Is my employer required to compensate me for the cost of a COVID-19 test or for the cost, if any, of getting a COVID-19 vaccination?
A. Yes, if an employer expressly requires an employee to obtain a COVID-19 test or a vaccination, or if the employee obtains the test or vaccination as a direct consequence of the employee’s discharge of the employee’s duties (i.e., the test or vaccination is effectively required for a job), the employer must pay for the costs of the test or vaccination as it is a reimbursement for necessary business expenses. If the employer requires a test or vaccination and there is no designated testing site, workers should ask which location(s) or vendor(s) are acceptable to the employer to avoid disputes over cost.
If the testing or vaccination is performed at a location other than the employee’s ordinary worksite, the employee may also be entitled to reimbursement for necessary expenses incurred to travel to and from the testing or vaccination location.
Colorado C.R.S § 8-2-118 Requires employer to pay for medical examination and furnishing any required records.
Although the question of whether the statute applies to COVID-19 testing has not been directly addressed, the most conservative approach is to assume that the term “medical examination” includes a COVID-19 test.
Connecticut None
Delaware None
District of Columbia None
Florida None
Georgia None
Hawaii HI Statute 388-6(6)
Section preempted by ERISA when FAA-mandated medical exam for pilots was “medical benefit” within
meaning of ERISA employee welfare benefit plan. 12 F.3d 1498 (9th Cir. 1993)
None
Governor Ige’s proclamation on 10/1/21 suspends HRS 388-6(6) “only to the extent necessary to clarify that employers are not required to cover the costs of COVID-19 testing incurred by employees who choose testing instead of vaccination as part of a workplace vaccination and/or testing policy.”
Idaho None
Illinois IL Admin. Code title 56 § 300.860 No employer shall require any employee or applicant to pay the cost of medical examinations or the cost of furnishing any records of such examinations, which are required by employer as a condition of employment.
Illinois law prohibits an employer from requiring an employee to bear the cost of a required COVID-19 test.
FAQs from the state department of public health provide following information:
Q. Can employer with a routine, mandatory COVID-19 testing program require employees to pay for those tests?
A. No. State law prohibits an employer from requiring an employee to pay for the cost of medical examinations or records that the employer requires as a condition (or precondition) of employment. Workers who have paid out-of-pocket for employer-mandated COVID-19 testing may file a claim with the Illinois Department of Labor and use the box marked “Other” to describe the amount of out-of-pocket expenses incurred by the employee for mandatory COVID-19 testing.
Indiana None
Iowa Iowa Code Ann. § 91A.3(6) Requires employers to reimburse expenses authorized by employer.
The question of whether the statute applies to COVID-19 testing has not been directly addressed, so this is an open issue in Iowa.
Kansas None
Kentucky KY Statute 336.220 Requires employer to pay for medical examination and furnishing any required records.
There are no cases or agency materials interpreting this statute, so this is an open issue in Kentucky as to whether it applies to COVID-19 tests.
Louisiana LA RS 23:897 Requires employer to pay for medical examinations required by employer.
The question of whether the statute applies to COVID-19 testing has not been directly addressed, so this is an open issue in Louisiana.
Maine 26 M.R.S.A. § 592 Employer must pay for medical examinations.
Guidance issued by the state department of labor includes the following FAQ:
Q. My employer is requiring that I get tested for COVID-19 before entering the workplace. Am I required to pay for these tests?
A. No. If an employer is requiring that an employee get a COVID-19 test or vaccine, then the employer must pay for the test or vaccine. In addition, the employer must pay the employee for time spent going to the doctor, as it would be considered time worked in this scenario.
Maryland MD Lab. & Empl. Code §3-1605 None
Note: Maryland’s Essential Workers’ Protection Act (MEWPA) may require an employer to pay for COVID-19 testing for covered essential workers in specific circumstances (testing not covered by worker’s health insurance). The MEWPA applies only during an “emergency” (defined as a catastrophic health emergency that is the subject of an executive proclamation and is related to a communicable disease).
Massachusetts M.G.L. Ch. 149, § 159B An employer that requires a person to undergo a medical examination by a physician designated by the employer as a condition of employment must pay for the medical expenses.
There are no cases or agency materials interpreting this statute as it relates to COVID-19 testing, but it’s not likely to apply when an employee can choose where to get COVID-19 testing (i.e., isn’t required to be tested by a physician designated by the employer).
Michigan MCL 408.471 et seq. None
Requires employers to pay “fringe benefits,” which can include “authorized expenses incurred during the course of employment,” in accordance with the terms of a written contract or policy. If an employer has a written contract or policy (including in any SPDs) that provides for the payment of testing, then it needs to follow that contract/policy.
Minnesota Minn. Stat.§ 181.61 Requires employer to pay for medical examination and furnishing any required records.
In December 2020, the Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry issued a “reminder” to employers stating:
The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) wishes to remind employers of Minn. Stat. 181.61, which requires employers to cover the costs of any medical examination or the furnishing of any records required by the employer as a condition of employment. This statute applies to mandatory coronavirus (COVID-19) testing required by the employer before employees may return to work. Employees may not have their wages reduced in any way to cover the cost of such a test.
Mississippi None
Missouri None
Montana Mont. Code Ann. § 39-2-301 Requires employer to pay for medical examination and furnishing any required records.
Nebraska None
Note: The answer may be different for an applicant as NE Rev. Stat. 48-221 states that it is unlawful for an employer to require an applicant for employment to pay the cost of a medical examination. When an employer asks an applicant to submit to a medical examination, the employer must pay the cost of the exam.
Nevada None
New Hampshire N.H. RSA § 275:3

N.H. RSA § 275:57

Requires employer to pay for medical examination and furnishing any required records.
Another state law requires employers to reimburse employees for expenses incurred in connection with their work. Law may apply if employers permit unvaccinated employees to remain at work as long as they get tested weekly.
New Jersey N.J. Stat. § 34:11-24.1 An employer must pay for medical examination when it requests or directs examination by a physician designated by the employer as a condition of employment.
There are no cases or agency materials interpreting this statute as it relates to COVID-19 testing, but it’s not likely to apply when an employee can choose where to get COVID-19 testing (i.e., isn’t required to be tested by a physician designated by the employer).
New Mexico None
New York NY Labor Law Section 201-b Requires employer to pay for medical exam and cost of furnishing certification if employee is not covered by health insurance (or insurance doesn’t cover test) and employer doesn’t provide qualified medical personnel to do the testing for free. There is an exception if the exam or certificate is required under state or federal statute or municipal ordinance or local law.
Note: Under the same law, it is unlawful for an employer to require an applicant to pay the cost of a medical examination required by the employer as a condition of original employment.
North Carolina None
Note: The answer may be different for an applicant as N.C.G.S. §14-357.1 states that it is unlawful for an employer with 25 or more employees to require an applicant for employment to pay the cost of a medical examination or the cost of providing any records required by the employer as a condition of the initial act of hiring.
North Dakota N.D. Century Code § 34-01-15 Requires employer to pay for medical examination or tests required by the employer as a term or condition of employment, including drug tests.
Ohio Ohio Revised Code 4113.21 Requires employer to pay for any required medical exams for applicants/prospective employees. There is nothing in the statute about current employees.
The statute also requires public or private employers furnishing services to a public employer in accordance with a contract subject to the Service Contract Act of 1965 to pay for the cost of any initial or subsequent medical examination required of any employee, applicant, or prospective employee as a condition of employment.
The state does not have a law specifically requiring employers to pay for COVID-19 testing.
Oklahoma OK Stat. Tit. 40 Sec. 191

(no public link available)

Employers are prohibited from requiring any applicant or employee, as a condition of employment or continued employment, to pay directly or indirectly, any part of the cost associated with a physical or medical examination required by the employer.
The Oklahoma Dept. of Labor has taken the position that the statute requires employers to pay for the cost of COVID-19 testing, even if required by an outside authority such as OSHA’s ETS.
Oregon ORS 659A.306 Requires employer to pay for any medical exam and cost of furnishing certification. There is an exception if the exam or certificate is required under state or federal law, city or county ordinance, or a collective bargaining agreement.
There may remain an open question whether, if an employee chooses not to be vaccinated, a COVID-19 test is a required exam.
Pennsylvania 43 P.S. § 1002

(no public link available)

Requires employer to pay for medical examination and furnishing medical records required by employer, except where examination is required by law.
Rhode Island RI Gen. Laws §28-6.2-1 None
When an employer requires a preemployment physical exam for an applicant, state law requires employers to pay the cost.
NOTE: While there is no statute in Rhode Island that requires employers to pay for mandatory COVID-19  testing, some attorneys are advising employers to cover the costs of COVID-19 testing. There seems to be a fair argument that putting the cost of COVID-19 testing on employees amounts to an illegal chargeback against their wages. For non-exempt employees in particular, asking them to cover the costs for COVID-19 testing could cause issues if the chargeback results in them netting less than minimum wage.
South Carolina None
South Dakota S.D. Codified Laws § 60-11-2 It is a Class 2 misdemeanor for an employer to require any employee to pay the cost of a medical examination required by the employer as a condition of continued employment.
This statute has not been interpreted by the South Dakota Department of Labor for purposes of COVID-19  testing, and medical exams are not defined within the South Dakota Codified Laws. However, the Minnesota Department of Labor has issued an opinion regarding a substantially similar statute stating that the testing would fall under the definition of medical exams. After further review and consideration of the Americans with Disabilities Act definitions of medical examinations, S.D. Codified Laws § 60-11-2 could require employers to pay for the costs of COVID-19 testing.
Tennessee None
Texas None
Utah Utah Code § 34-33-1

https://le.utah.gov/~2021S2/bills/static/SB2004.html

It is unlawful for an employer to charge a medical fee for the physical examination of any applicant of employee for employment, or to deduct the cost of a physical examination from the money earned by any employee or to make any charge for or to deduct from the earnings of any employees. However, if a Utah employer requires a physical examination, that employer is responsible for all costs of the  physical examination.
On November 11, 2021, the Utah legislature passed the “Workplace COVID-19 Amendments Bill.” That legislation requires employers to pay for COVID-19 workplace testing.
Vermont 21 V.S.A. § 301 It is unlawful for an employer to require any employee or applicant to pay the cost of a medical examination as a condition of employment.
This particular statute has no interpreting regulation, and there is no court case analyzing it. So there is no specific law requiring employers to pay for the cost of a COVID-19 test.
Virginia VA. Code § 40.1-28 It is unlawful for an employer to require any employee or applicant to pay the cost of a medical examination or the cost of furnishing any medical records required by the employer as a condition of employment.
In Virginia, COVID-19 testing is considered a “medical examination” under § 40.1-28 of the Code of Virginia. Employers cannot require employees to pay for the cost of COVID-19 testing for return to work determinations. Thus, employers should cover any costs for required weekly COVID-19 testing.
Washington None
NOTE: Washington doesn’t require payment for testing unless the testing is required as a reasonable accommodation for a religious or medical exemption. In those cases the employer should pay for the testing.
West Virginia W.Va. Code § 21-3-17 Under West Virginia law, it is unlawful for an employer to require any employee or applicant to pay the cost of a medical examination as a condition of employment. So it appears that employers must pay for COVID-19 testing.
Wisconsin Chapter 103.37 Wisconsin Statutes

https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/covid19/public/

No employer may require any employee or applicant to pay the cost of a medical examination required by the employer as a condition of employment.
The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development said that it interprets Wis. Stat. section 103.37 as not requiring employers to cover the cost of COVID-19 testing where the testing is an alternative to vaccination and where the vaccination/testing requirement is mandated by the federal government. This interpretation is not binding on a court. So far it appears Wisconsin does not require employers to pay for the testing.
Wyoming Wyo. Stat. § 27-11-113

https://health.wyo.gov/publichealth/infectious-disease-epidemiology-unit/disease/novel-coronavirus/covid-19-workplace-testing/

Any employer can require an employee to submit to a physical examination before employment or at any time during employment, and will provide for a physical examination, as deemed necessary, due to exposure or contact with hazards or environmental conditions which may be detrimental to the health of the employee. The law is easily interpreted to include medical tests, and all costs associated with required medical examinations/tests should be paid by the employer.
The Wyoming Department of Health offers free COVID-19 tests through a company called  Vault Health. These tests are available at no cost; insurance is not necessary.
Wyoming also offers free at-home COVID-19 testing through a company called Vault Health. These tests are available to Wyoming residents at no cost; insurance is not necessary.

 

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