Q. Can I consider safety in deciding whether to hire an applicant or retain an employee with a disability? —G.P., Pennsylvania
A. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, an employer may require that an individual not pose a direct threat to the health and safety of herself or others in the workplace. To determine whether an individual poses a direct threat—defined as a significant risk of substantial harm—you must have objective, factual evidence regarding the person's ability to perform essential job functions. Consider whether safety risks can be eliminated or reduced by a reasonable accommodation.
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