How can we prevent a workers' comp claim from an older, accident-prone employee?

Q. One of our employees is over age 70 and has had a broken foot, memory problems and a recent car wreck that caused some residual problems. Should we allow him to work? What can we do to protect ourselves from potential workers’ comp claims should he injure himself?

No magic words needed to ask for ADA accommodations

Disabled employees who want reasonable accommodations don’t have to specifically use those words.

Court: You don't have to be clairvoyant about ADA

Merely complaining about aches and pains isn’t enough to put an employer on notice that an employee is disabled and needs an ADA accommodation.

Working overtime hours can be an essential function

Working overtime can be an essential job function. If disabled employees can’t work overtime, you may not have to accommodate them.

FMLA or ADA request? Don't let that derail legitimate discipline or termination decisions


Firing someone right after she requests FMLA leave or an ADA accommodation can often trigger a lawsuit. But timing close alone won’t sink your chances of winning—as long as you have a valid business reason for discharging the employee that is unrelated to illness or disability.

Trio of EEOC charges leads San Antonio firm to settle

San Antonio-based Taprite Fassco has settled gender, disability and retaliation charges leveled by a female quality control employee. Taprite Fassco manufactures carbon dioxide regulators for soda and beer dispensers.

It's sometimes OK to fire disabled employee, but it's a mistake to cite medical costs

Before terminating someone who is disabled, make sure that you don’t inadvertently create a reason for them to sue you.

Employee quitting for medical reasons? Consider offering accommodation


Employees who quit their jobs for “necessitous and compelling” reasons may still be eligible for unemployment compensation benefits. Quitting because of medical problems sometimes qualifies. That’s why employers should consider offering accommodations if an employee says he needs to quit for medical reasons. An accommodation offer may mean there’s no “necessitous and compelling” reason to quit.

Consider disabled employee's request for accommodation--even if you think it's futile

Supervisors who ignore an employee’s initial oral request for a reasonable accommodation risk exposing their employer to liability if the employee quits and sues. Never dismiss such a request out of hand.

No formal ADA accommodation request required


Employers can’t rely on the lack of a formal reasonable accommodations request as the basis for not providing one if it is obvious the employee is disabled and has informally indicated he needs help. There are no magic words required, no need to invoke the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act or state disability statutes.

Disability isn't 'get out of jail free' card--it must be revealed before discipline


Some workers who learn they’re about to be disciplined or even fired for poor behavior may try to use an alleged disability as an excuse. But if they never revealed before that they have a disability, it’s too late to try that tactic on the eve of being punushed.

Must we permit transitional work following off-duty injuries?

Q. An employee was injured away from work. He is now demanding to return to work as an accommodation for his injuries, which he claims is a disability under both the ADA and Minnesota Human Rights Act. We do have a transitional work program, whereby we create work to aid workers injured on the job in returning to work. The work involves duties that we otherwise outsource, such as floor sweeping, etc. Our injured employee is not able to return to his prior position due to the physical nature of that job, and is now demanding that we provide him this sort of transitional work. Must we?

Unless you're a doctor, don't try medical diagnosis

A Texas company has agreed to settle a disability bias suit filed by a former employee after the EEOC accused its HR department of playing doctor in violation of the ADA.

Denying employee a mat to stand on cost salon $27K

Chiquita, a hairdresser in Atlanta, has scoliosis and asked her employer to provide her with a mat to help alleviate her back pain. The salon refused ...

Warn bosses against ADA 'association bias'

Your supervisors no doubt know it’s illegal to discriminate against someone because of his or her disability. But do they also know about a less obvious part of the ADA that makes it illegal to discriminate against people because they have an association with a person who has a disability?
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