Overview: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is cracking down on employment discrimination against individuals with disabilities (a more preferred term than “disabled employees”) under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). An individual is considered disabled under the ADA if he or she: (i) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; or (ii) has a record of such an impairment; or (iii) is regarded as having such an impairment. Employers need to apply this definition broadly and are wise to focus more on the interactive process and the duty to accommodate the individual. In addition, because many states and municipalities have laws that define what constitutes a disability, employers should check their state/local law to ensure full compliance.
Employers should also ensure they have the required ADA poster and supplement in locations that can be easily seen by applicants and employees and that their policies, programs and practices follow the purpose and language of the amended ADA.
Trends: With the passage of the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA), many more individuals fall within the ADA's definition of disability. The growing definition of disability is another reason why an employee who has a disability wants to be considered an individual with a disability, as opposed to being a disabled employee. Therefore, employer focus on the interactive process and reasonably accommodating employees - and not on whether the individual is disabled - is increasingly paramount.
"No fault" leave or attendance policies under which employees are automatically terminated after being on leave for a specific period of time can be considered a violation of the ADA if the policy or practice fails to incorporate an interactive process to assess whether additional leave may be a reasonable accommodation under the ADA. The EEOC has targeted several employers - to the tune of millions of dollars - challenging such no-fault leave policies.
Author: Melissa S. Burdorf, JD, Legal Editor
Delaware law will soon require employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees and applicants affected by pregnancy or childbirth.
Oklahoma employers with one or more employees should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.
Maryland employers with 15 or more employees for each working day in each of 20 or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding year are required to include this model policy statement in their handbook.
West Virginia employers with 12 or more employees in West Virginia for each working day in each of 20 or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding year should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook
Utah employers with 15 or more employees within the state for each working day in each of 20 calendar weeks or more in the current or preceding calendar year and seeking to notify employees of their policy regarding equal opportunities in the workplace should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.
Employers covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and seeking to advise employees of their right to seek accommodations based on disability should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.
Delaware employers must provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant and nursing employees and job applicants under a new law enacted on September 9, 2014.
The presentations are designed to help train managers and supervisors about issues involving the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits employers from discriminating based on disability and requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities.
HR guidance on handling employees with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Support on the many regulations of the ADA.