ADA alert: Define essential job functions before anyone requests reasonable accommodations

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Unless you’re willing to risk losing an ADA reasonable accommodations lawsuit, don’t wait to define the essential functions of your employees’ jobs.

Courts frequently defer to em­­ployers that have clearly spelled out both essential and nonessential job functions before a disabled employee requests an accommodation. How­­ever, they often view with suspicion attempts to create essential functions after a request has been made.

If you haven’t already done so, add this to your to-do list: Create job descriptions that specify essential and nonessential functions. Then revise your employee handbook and policies to reflect the changes.

Recent case: Karin worked for Farmers State Bank of Hartland as the loan processor. Part of her job also involved auditing the bank’s compliance with federal lending laws. It was a full-time, salaried position.

She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2004 and experienced a severe relapse in 200...(register to read more)

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