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 …

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

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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“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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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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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 …

Read moreAnother case of “bad” HR- Misusing medical information

Yes! Interactive means Interactive and not just once!

Under the ADAAA (Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act) there is a requirement that employers have interactive discussions with employees about their needs for accommodations in performing their jobs. My Miriam-Webster dictionary defines interactive as “mutually or reciprocally active” which implies a back and forth discussion. That is also what the EEOC defines as interactive. …

Read moreYes! Interactive means Interactive and not just once!

That maximum leave policy you have is now no good

Many companies have leave policies that invoke a 12 month limit on the leave, after which the employee on leave is terminated. I have worked with long-term disability policies that had similar provisions. If you have such a policy you may want to rethink it, the EEOC just settled a case that shows they do …

Read moreThat maximum leave policy you have is now no good

Yes, leave can be considered a reasonable accommodation even when not covered by the FMLA

The intersection of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Act can be a trying one. There have been numerous cases where courts have ruled that additional leave beyond the 12 weeks permitted by the FMLA would be considered a reasonable accommodation for the individual with the disability. Of course the courts …

Read moreYes, leave can be considered a reasonable accommodation even when not covered by the FMLA

Avoiding lawsuits is as simple as a little bit of training

An office cleaning company found out that just providing supervisors with a little bit of training would have been a much cheaper solution than paying a $16,000 settlement because of discrimination. Scoliosis gets in the way According to the EEOC a Michigan based company that provides corporate cleaning services will pay $16,000 to settle disability …

Read moreAvoiding lawsuits is as simple as a little bit of training

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