Don’t nickel and dime ADA accommodations: Everything can’t be essential to the job

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Employment Law,Human Resources

Under the ADA, disabled employees are entitled to reasonable accommodations that allow them to perform the essential functions of their jobs. They’re also excused from so-called nonessential functions.

Employers sometimes think they can get around the ADA requirements by calling every task in a job description “essential.” They hope they’ll be able to exclude anyone who can’t do absolutely every aspect of the job.

But that strategy can backfire badly because not every task is essential. Consider, for example, the following case in which the employee lost all function in one arm and therefore couldn’t lift anything that required her to use both arms.

Recent case: Mislehivy Calvo worked successfully as an assistant manager for a Walgreens drug store for a year until she lost consciousness while driving and had a serious accident. She fractured both arms, but returned to work after several surgeries.

Her left arm a...(register to read more)

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