When a disabled employee needs reasonable accommodations, he has to tell his employer. Then the employer and employee must engage in an interactive process to see what accommodations are possible. Courts want to see sincere effort from both.
That’s why you should track the accommodations process—especially your accommodations suggestions and the employee’s reaction to them.
Recent case: James Moore worked as a bounty hunter until he injured his back while on the job. He told his employer his days as bounty hunter were over and asked for other possible positions that suited his medical limits. The employer offered three different jobs. Moore rejected each and sued, alleging failure to accommodate.
The case was tossed out because Moore was the one who withdrew from the accommodations process, not the employer. (Moore v. California Surety Investigations, No. D055253, Court of Appeal of California, 2011)
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Be sure to document the effective date of all new disciplinary policies
- Complaining about co-worker's harassment may be protected
- Transfer with same pay and benefits may still be an adverse employment action
- Warning: Winning in state court doesn't mean you can't be sued in federal court