OK to discipline disabled worker for rule-breaking

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Don’t worry that you can’t discipline disabled workers—if you can show that you punish all em­­ployees equally for breaking the same rule. An employee’s disability is irrelevant as long as you don’t cut slack for other employees while punishing the disabled worker.

The best approach is to separate all aspects of managing a disabled worker’s leave and reasonable accommodations from discipline. Designate someone in HR to handle FMLA and other leave requests, as well as ADA reasonable accommodations. That way, those decisions are separate and apart from your disciplinary process.

Then handle discipline as you would for any employee, being careful to ex­­clude from any attendance tally time off taken under the FMLA or missed as an ADA reasonable accommodation.

Recent case: William, who has bi­­polar disorder and suffers occasional depressive episodes, was hired as a corrections officer at the George W. Hill Correctional Facility...(register to read more)

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