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Higher Risk and Vulnerable Populations

Throughout all rebound phases, vulnerable populations are encouraged to self-identify and continue working remotely where possible. Supervisors should avoid making unnecessary medical inquiries regarding confidential health circumstances in an effort to maintain compliance with the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Familes First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA), and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). Instead, departments should consult with HR and legal counsel on how to support employees that may be at higher risk for severe illness, and are considered to be part of a vulnerable population.


As a reminder, vulnerable populations include individuals and their caregivers/household family members of individuals who meet any of the following criteria:

  • Older than 65 years
  • People with the following conditions:
    • Existing heart disease (previous heart attack, angina, congenital heart disease, etc.)
    • Lung disease (asthma, obstructive pulmonary disease, etc.)
    • Current smoker
    • Compromised immune status (medications, cancer, organ transplantation, etc.)
    • Diabetes
    • Chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
    • Liver disease