An accommodation has to make it possible to do the work, not avoid the work

Because many employers are not well versed in the Americans with Disabilities Act there is often confusion on whether a request accommodation must be granted. The good news is that a requested accommodation does not have to be granted if it does not actually allow the employee to perform the job. The purpose of an …

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For want of a chair: Mistakes made in an ADA case

Sometimes you just wonder what people are thinking.  A recent ADA case demonstrates what I mean. The situation An employee was working in a long-term temporary position and had been for several years. He had a kidney condition that was getting worse, but he was able to continue to work with an accommodation. He provided …

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Does allowing telecommuting make it more difficult to fire employees?

The answer like the majority of questions in HR is “It depends” as articulated in an article by Daniel Schwarz of Jackson Lewis in his discussion of the case Hostettler v. College of Wooster, in the 6th District Court of Appeals (Ohio.) The case According to Schwarz, the employee in question was suffering from recovering …

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“No Fault” Attendance Policies Must be Managed

A lot of companies like to use “no-fault” attendance policies because they are easier to administer, generally easy to understand, reduces the chances of favoritism, doesn’t require a lot of policing of reasons for absences and treats the employees as adults by making them responsible for their actions. If only it was really that easy …

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70,000 Reasons to Conduct Individual Assessments in ADA Determinations

The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that employers not discriminate against workers on the basis of their disability. I mentioned this in yesterday’s blog post. However, one area of “disability” that many employers don’t realize is covered is enrollment in a bona fide treatment program for drug or alcohol treatment. This is a lesson that …

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What is required for protection under the ADA?

In a situation of an interview or dealing with an ADA situation, I tell clients and students alike that one of the things they need to have memorized is the question “Can you perform the essential functions of this job, with or without a reasonable accommodation.” It is truly essential. Must be able to perform …

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Two Compliance Issues every HR professional should know and teach to managers

I have come across a number of “must-know” lists in the past couple of weeks. Perhaps this is an artifact of the time of year, getting a fresh start phenomenon. As a result, I decided to do my own list. These are the things that I think all good professionals must know. Anti-discrimination Most of …

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Issues around accommodating pregnancy

A writer and lawyer, whom I respect a great deal, is Robin Shea of Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP. She is a specialist in ADA issues. In a recent piece called The ADA: Four issues to watch in 2018, she discussed four issues that employers need to pay attention to in the coming year. …

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Another case of “bad” HR- Misusing medical information

Prior to the Americans with Disabilities Act being passed in 1990 it was common practice to ask medical screening questions on an application or at least on a separate sheet of paper. However, with the passage of that law 27 years ago it became illegal to collect medical information or have an applicant take a …

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