Is that employee really disabled? Making the ADA call requires careful analysis

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

Just because an employee takes FMLA leave to deal with a serious health condition doesn’t mean he’s disabled under the ADA—and therefore entitled to reasonable accommodations when he returns to work.

Employers must consider each em­­ployee’s situation individually. Only workers with physical or mental im­­pairments that substantially limit one or more major life activities generally qualify for ADA accommodations.

Advice: Before jumping to the conclusion that a returning employee is entitled to whatever accommodation he requests, ask yourself whether he is, in fact, disabled. What counts is his condition at the time he requests the accommodation.

Look at a range of life activities like working, breathing, walking, thinking, sleeping and socializing. Then try to determine whether the claimed problems are outside the wide range of “normal” for most people in the general population.

Recent case: John Bialko worked as a forklift...(register to read more)

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