Treating a disabled employee even a little differently than others can spell big trouble. That even applies to seemingly minor differences such as telling one employee in advance about an automatic termination policy, but not informing a disabled employee about the rule.
Recent case: Mohammad was a temporary IT employee, paid by a temp agency, but working directly for Hewlett-Packard (HP), one of the agency’s clients.
HP had a standard policy that only allowed workers to remain on temporary status for two years.
Beyond that deadline, temp employees either had to be hired as regular employees or had to wait 100 days before another assignment could be approved.
During his second year at HP, Mohammad injured his shoulder and had to take approved medical leave. Shortly before his scheduled return, he was informed that his services were no longer needed, and that the two-year rule applied. He had never heard of the policy.
Mohammad sued, alleging disability discrimination. He pointed out that another employee who was not disabled had been warned about the rule much earlier.
The court ruled Mohammad’s lawsuit should continue, reasoning that by informing one employee of the rule but leaving Mohammad in the dark, the temp agency treated the two differently. A jury will decide whether Mohammad was actually terminated because of his physical problems. (Hajianpour v. Synova, No. 12-1765, CD CA, 2012)
Final note: Include important policies like this one in your handbook. Discuss them during new-employee orientation. Get an acknowledgment that new employees have read and understand the rule. Remind them at regular intervals, especially as critical deadlines approach.
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/34392/ensure-automatic-firing-policy-is-understood "
- Warn bosses: Preconceived notions about disability can violate the ADA
- Appeals court rules for employers on ADA
- Murphy Ford created self-fulfilling Murphy's Law
- Require everyone to report harassment—you'll be justified firing those who don't
- Employment contracts: Can your workers claim an 'implied' contract?