When it comes to deciding whether to grant reasonable accommodations, the first step is to determine whether the employee is really disabled. A diagnosis isn’t the last word.
Does the condition actually limit the employee in some substantial way?
Recent case: Kathleen Franceschelli tookafter being diagnosed with lupus and fibromyalgia. When Verizon fired her for after she returned to work, she sued for disability discrimination.
But Verizon pointed out that Franceschelli’s medical condition hadn’t affected her very much. She still drove a car, walked her dogs, attended Penn State football games and generally continued to do everything she had done before diagnosis.
The court said she wasn’t disabled and dismissed her lawsuit. (Franceschelli v. Verizon, No. 3:09-1553, MD PA, 2011)
- Cost-sharing can cost you in arbitration agreements
- Track the training you offer, who qualified--and which employees took advantage of it
- Balance FMLA and ADA rights to avoid potential trouble
- Social Security disability doesn't mean no accommodations
- Prepare now for passage of the Employee Free Choice Act