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

Is an obese employee protected by the ADA?

At some time or another most HR professionals have probably been faced with the question of whether or not an obese employee is covered by the ADA. The answer as often happens is “maybe”. Unfortunately, as our population gets heavier this may become more of a problem. Morbid obesity The EEOC provides some guidance by saying: …

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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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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!

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 …

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Just because it takes extra time and effort is no reason to avoid the accommodation discussion

According to a press release by the EEOC, a Texas based company is paying a fine of $110,000 to settle a suit where they were charged with not hiring two applicants based on their inability to hear. The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) requires employers to engage in interactive discussions with applicants or …

Read moreJust because it takes extra time and effort is no reason to avoid the accommodation discussion

Four Very Instructive Reads in HR Compliance

Legal compliance for many HR people is a major headache. Each situation has some different twist to it that makes you question whether you are making the correct decision. Here are four situations that provide examples of just my point. Reverse discrimination This first post shows that reverse discrimination is recognized by the courts as …

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Does an employee have to say the magical words “reasonable accommodation?”

As a consultant to small business I get this question frequently. In fact I got it twice in the month of October. The truth is there is nothing magical about the words. The case According to attorney Krista Sterken, of the firm Foley & Lardner LLP, a recent case affirms that an employee NEVER has …

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The ADA interactive discussion is a two-way street

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment Act (ADAAA) there is a requirement that employers have interactive discussions with employees (and candidates) to determine the extent of their need for an accommodation to perform the essential functions of their job. This discussion needs to be documented in order to show that discussion occurred and what …

Read moreThe ADA interactive discussion is a two-way street

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