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)
- Former employee reapplies? Beware retaliation lawsuit
- Crack down on supervisor harassment with tough policy, prompt corrective action
- Worker--not just doctor--can prove incapacity
- Feel free to discipline or terminate employees who insist on working unauthorized overtime
- Employee may be using FMLA leave for years to come--how often can we request an updated certification?