Articles Posted in Disability

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Image by diapicard from Pixabay

In 2020, the Americans with Disabilities Act turns 30. President George H.W. Bush signed it into law in 1990 to ensure civil rights for individuals with disabilities. Chia-Yi Hou at The Hill published a nice 30-year ADA recap here.

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Image Credit: https://freesvg.org/1550658029 (Public Domain)

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.

But, let’s back up a sec, as I tell you the facts of this disability discrimination case I read last night. Continue reading

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Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

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.

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Renée Gordon (FDA), Victovoi [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Last night, I read this recent Seventh Circuit opinion about a man who applied for a job with a railroad.

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.

Instead, the applicant sued, alleging a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Continue reading

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Image Credit: Grouch (Joker Parody) – SNL (YouTube)

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

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Image Credit: Photofunia.com (https://photofunia.com/results/5d92b3c0089f7a3a938b457d)

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.

And based on this federal court opinion I read recently, the answer is still no. Continue reading

“Doing What’s Right – Not Just What’s Legal”