Regular, in-person attendance is generally critical to performing one’s job. So, when an employee exhausts her twelve weeks of leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act only to miss another 33 days of work (resulting in a 59% absentee rate), one’s job security may be in jeopardy.
There are times when employers have to make difficult decisions impacting the workplace. Today, I’m going to talk to you about one of them involving an employee who attempted suicide and, subsequently, pressed the company to return him to work.
The job required some fairly physical work; namely, climbing and working on and around heavy equipment. The company’s policy was not to hire anyone with a BMI of 40 or greater because of the “substantially higher risk of developing certain conditions like sleep apnea, diabetes, and heart disease and the unpredictable onset of those conditions can result in sudden incapacitation.” Given the job requirements, this could create an unsafe workplace. So, the company told the applicant that he was welcome to reapply later if he lost the weight and kept it off.
Let’s pretend that you operate a sanitation company. One of your employees — let’s call him ‘Oscar’ — tells you that he would like to take a multi-week sabbatical to learn more about his job and spend some time living in a trash can. Continue reading
Often, when I present at HR events on reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, I’m asked about how to deal with disciplining employees who wait until after the performance issues arise and the progressive discipline follows to request an accommodation.
Specifically, do you have to excuse prior performance issues that may have been disability-related? The answer was no.