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Carefully review sudden claims of disability during discipline

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

Some employees, forced to confront poor work habits, workplace mistakes or other disciplinary problems, decide to tell their employers that they have a disability.

Don’t take the bait. Pause to determine if the employee really is disabled and whether that has anything to do with the pending discipline.

Recent case: After a doctor was brought up for a clinical review, he suddenly told the review committee he was disabled by depression and anxiety. But he didn’t have any medical evidence to show the alleged conditions interfered with any life activities. The hospital went forward with discipline and the doctor sued.

The court dismissed his suit be­­cause he failed to prove he was disabled. (Eisenberg v. Permanente, No. 10-3208, ND CA, 2012)

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