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EEOC guidance covers how covid affects ADA, other laws

The EEOC has posted an updated and expanded technical assistance publication addressing questions arising under the federal equal employment opportunity laws related to the coronavirus pandemic.

You, not employee, choose accommodation

Some disabled employees couch their ideas about the accommodations they want as demands, not suggestions. That’s when it pays to remember: The employer, not the employee, gets to choose the reasonable accommodation.

Offer easy accommodations … or settle for $3.3 million

When in doubt about how to handle an ADA request, sometimes the best bet is to offer a temporary accommodation. Make sure the employee understands the accommodation is temporary and not an admission that he’s entitled to it. Then set a review date.

Fed contractors must use new disability form

The Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has updated the form federal contractors must use to allow job applicants to voluntarily self-identify that they have a disability.

OK to discipline for leaving work ‘feeling sick’

If a worker tells her supervisor she’s having a flareup of a serious health condition and must leave, that may invoke the FMLA, the ADA or both. But a run-of-the-mill, “I feel sick and am going home” declaration isn’t protected activity.

No, you can’t order a blanket ban on certain meds

At the heart of the ADA is the rule that reasonable accommodations must be based on an individualized assessment of a disabled employee’s medical condition and the requirements of his or her job. Employers cannot make blanket determinations that disabled workers are unable to perform their jobs based on their diagnoses—or the medicines they use.

EEOC: CDC safety guidelines don’t violate ADA

Employers are free to ask employees and job applicants if they have symptoms of COVID-19, screen them for illness and make them stay home if they test positive, according to the EEOC.

Don’t let assistive technology affect hiring

Warn hiring managers not to disregard an applicant because assistive technologies indicate he or she might be disabled. Those systems provide evidence of bias that can be used against you in court.

Court: You must accommodate medical pot

A recent New Jersey Supreme Court decision should remind employers everywhere that medical marijuana is a fluid area of the law. If the court’s legal reasoning takes hold nationwide, you may be forced to accommodate your employees’ legal cannabis use.

Ditch existing accommodation at your peril

If a disabled employee has successfully used a simple, informal accommodation for years, don’t summarily make him stop without discussing the decision. In fact, before removing any accommodation, you must engage in the ADA’s interactive reasonable accommodation process.