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ADA: Always at least consider employee’s preferred accommodation

Employers aren’t required to provide disabled employees with the exact accommodation they request, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have to at least consider it. And whatever accommodation the employer does decide to use must be both reasonable and effective.

No boss comments on language skills, hearing

Here’s an important reminder to pass on to supervisors and managers. Don’t comment on a subordinate’s accent or mispronunciation of common words. Doing so can create a hostile environment based on national origin. The same goes for comments about an individual’s ability to hear.

Be alert for positive drug test results caused by meds used to treat disabilities

Do you perform drug tests on employees suspected of being under the influence of intoxicants or illicit drugs? Be aware that some positive test results may be due to legal prescription drugs required for the treatment of disabilities.

Make sure your good records are dated, too

When it comes to litigation, employers that keep meticulous performance records and can pinpoint exactly when they made important employment decisions typically fare better than those who keep sloppy records.

Focus on disability employment this month

President Trump has declared October 2017 as National Disability Employment Awareness Month. With the theme “Inclusion Drives Innovation,” the month provides employers with a reminder that they should examine their accommodation practices under the ADA to ensure they remain in compliance.

Necessary psych exam doesn’t violate ADA

Under some circumstances, an employer may be fully justified in requiring an employee to undergo a psychiatric or other medical exam. Doing so won’t violate the ADA if it is job related and consistent with business necessity.

FMLA and NY Paid Family Leave Law and Disability Benefits Law

It’s time to answer some of the trickier questions about the interaction of the FMLA, the New York Paid Family Leave Law and the state’s Disability Benefits Law.

Here’s what not to say to EEOC investigators

A supervisor for Regional International Corp., located near Rochester, said precisely the wrong thing to an EEOC investigator after an employee filed an ADA complaint against the company.

ADA access obligation applies to customers and public as well as employees

When thinking about disability accommodations, don’t focus solely on disabled employees. If you serve the public, the ADA requires you to consider your disabled customers’ needs, too.

Beware trumped up reasons for firing

Sometimes, it is up to HR to stop bosses from doing the wrong thing—for example, when he is frustrated because he has to accommodate a disabled worker’s medical restrictions. If the supervisor comes up with an obviously implausible reason to fire the worker, expect trouble.
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