ADA

What constitutes an essential job function?

04/21/2015
Q. I hand a brochure titled “Job Information and Requirements” to each new hire I bring on board to my construction company. With the addition of new positions, I need to draft new brochures with job descriptions, but am having trouble determining the essential job functions. Is there a specific method that I can use to decide whether a job function is essential?

Temp assignments should be temporary: Keep looking for permanent accommodations

04/21/2015
Here’s an important reminder for managers handling workers returning from medical leave who may qualify as disabled: Placing workers in a temporary job may be part of an accommodation but that doesn’t end the process.

Proposed wellness rules balance ADA, HIPAA

04/21/2015
The EEOC has issued proposed rules explaining how employers can legally administer wellness programs under the ADA and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

Can we restrict service dogs at work?

04/13/2015
Q. An employee with epilepsy wants to bring a dog to work to assist her in the event of a seizure. Our business is not conducive to having animals at work. Must we permit her to bring her dog?

Use trial accommodation to test feasibility

04/13/2015

Do you worry that starting accommodations for a disabled employee may mean you have to continue them indefinitely? Relax. In fact, a trial accommodation may actually benefit employers in the long run. If the accommodation turns out to be disruptive, impractical or more costly than you thought it would be, you can stop it.

Anxiety disorder a covered ADA disability

04/08/2015

Since the EEOC declared that “the ability to interact with others” is an essential life function, some employees and their attorneys have argued that a long list of psychiatric and psychological disorders are covered ADA disabilities. If the diagnostic criteria for a condition includes difficulty getting along with others, then being diagnosed with the condition is proof enough of disability, goes the argument. Now a federal appeals court has essentially agreed with that position, at least when it comes to one diagnosis.

Supreme Court creates new pregnancy discrimination framework

04/06/2015
The Supreme Court ruled on March 25 that a pregnant UPS employee who was denied a light-duty position is entitled to a new trial. The Court’s framework for pregnancy discrimination cases allows employees who show that an employer policy that creates a “significant burden” for pregnant employees violates the Preg­­nancy Dis­­crimi­­na­­tion Act.

You, not worker, choose ADA accommodation

04/02/2015
The ADA calls for an interactive conversation involving both parties to identify possible accommodations, but ultimately, it’s the employer’s call. For example, it’s perfectly legal to transfer an employee to another position, even if the employee isn’t happy with the move.

Function--not treatments--decides disability

04/01/2015
Carefully consider whether an employee really qualifies as disabled before providing reasonable accommodations. Don’t focus solely on the number of treatments an injury or condition requires. Focus instead on whether the condition substantially impairs a life function.

Manage interplay of all state and federal laws affecting pregnant employee's leave rights

03/23/2015
California has one of the nation’s most complex set of laws covering employees who need time off for illness, disability, pregnancy and parenting. Federal and state laws combine to create a complicated mess.

Wellness: Big benefit or Big Brother?

03/19/2015
For several years, proponents have touted wellness programs’ success in lowering health care costs, decreasing absenteeism and raising employee morale. But those laudable goals haven’t insulated wellness programs from controversy.

What to do with painter who can't use ladders?

03/17/2015
What should you do if an employee has a disability that prevents him for doing his job? The ADA says you must try to find a reasonable accommodation. But who decides what’s reasonable?

Employee leave: When must you grant it to accommodate disabilities?

03/10/2015
The goal of leave is “to provide job-protected time in order to enable a qualified employee with a disability to manage his or her medical impairment and ultimately remain in the workforce.” Follow these guidelines when granting it.

Act fast to fix computer glitch that threatens to compromise disability accommodation

02/24/2015
If a technology problem interferes with a disabled employee’s attempt to use medical leave, fix the problem fast. Otherwise, you may be liable for claims that you violated the ADA’s disability accommodations ­requirements.

You choose the reasonable accommodation

02/24/2015
It’s up to the employer to choose which ADA reasonable accommodation it wants to offer a disabled employee. If the worker wants a different accommodation, he’s out of luck.
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