“Long-COVID” and Disability: Emerging Law and Policy Issues

March 3, 2022

This event was organized by Coelho Law Fellow Taylor Hein, a 2021-2022 Law Fellow at the Coelho Center and graduated in May of 2021 from Chapman University.  As part of Taylor’s participation in The Coelho Law Fellowship Program, this panel fullfilled a policy project requirement. 

The purpose of this policy panel is to explore the legal implications of new guidelines stating that “Long COVID” constitutes a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). These guidelines include those issued by the Biden Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Justice. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy, Taryn M. Williams, and Director of the Office of Civil Rights within the Department of Health and Human Services, Lisa J. Pino, will provide their professional expertise and insight to the emerging law and policy issues surrounding Long COVID being considered a disability in the areas of employment and health law, respectively.

The panel intends to help scholars, lawyers, direct service providers, and advocates better understand these new guidelines, anticipate their repercussions in law and policy, and promote the rights of people with disabilities, especially those who have newly acquired a disability due to COVID-19. In addition, it is important that this panel acknowledges the fact that those with Long COVID constitute an entirely new generation of chronically ill people that could bring increased awareness to and understanding of non-apparent disabilities in disability law and policy.