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ADA: Managing an Employee With a Disability - Supervisor Briefing

Author: Meryl Gutterman, formerly of Nukk-Freeman & Cerra, P.C.


Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), an employer has ongoing obligations with respect to managing an employee with a disability. As a general rule, employers may not take any action that negatively affects the employee's terms, conditions or privileges of employment (e.g., demotion, reassignment to a less desirable job, failure to promote or termination) if the decision is based on the disability. This includes treating an employee with a disability differently from employees without disabilities by applying workplace policies inequitably. Managing an employee with a disability may also involve providing a reasonable accommodation and understanding how to deal with the employee's performance issues.

This Supervisor Briefing examines the law and best practices concerning how a supervisor should manage an employee with a disability. It addresses the following topics:

  1. Understanding Who Is Covered by the ADA
  2. Drafting and Maintaining Accurate Job Descriptions
  3. Fielding Accommodation Requests
  4. Engaging in the Interactive Process
  5. Providing Reasonable Accommodation
  6. Making Disability-Related Inquiries/Conducting Medical Exams
  7. Managing Performance Issues
  8. Preventing Discrimination and Retaliation
  9. Documenting Interactions With Employees With Disabilities
  10. Keeping Medical Information Confidential
  11. Test Yourself

Please refer to ADA: An Overview - Supervisor Briefing for a more in-depth analysis on the law and best practices concerning how a supervisor should comply with the ADA as amended by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008.