The ADA says you must reasonably accommodate disabled employees. That requires substantial discussion with the employee to understand her condition and formulate a solution. What if she won’t cooperate? Simply document the interaction (unless her condition is obvious, such as needing to use a wheelchair at work).
Recent case: Paulette, a nurse, requested reasonable accommodations for a back problem, asthma and other medical problems. However, she never provided medical documentation or described how her condition substantially impaired a major life function. She sued her employer for failing to accommodate her.
The court tossed Paulette’s case, reasoning she hadn’t shown the court she was disabled and therefore eligible for accommodations, much less that her employer was unwilling to accommodate her. (Cogle v. Bergstein, et al., No. 157562/12, Supreme Court of New York, New York County, 2013)
- New York's Employee Leave Laws
- Establish clear performance expectations so courts can judge if employee was meeting them
- Prepare to go to trial even if employee represents herself
- Crack down on supervisor harassment with tough policy, prompt corrective action
- Pittsburgh Panera manager: I was fired for refusing racism