Do you suspect an employee may have a mental or psychological disability that may need accommodation—even though he hasn’t mentioned it? Tread carefully. If you assume the employee is disabled and he’s not, he’ll be able to sue you for regarding him as disabled.
Here’s the best way to handle the matter: Unless the employee raises the issue, assume anyhave nothing to do with a disability. Treat him as you would anyone else. If, during a , he says he’s having trouble meeting expectations because of a medical or psychological condition, then you should begin an interactive accommodation process.
It pays to be proactive—train managers before they face such situations not to assume disability. It could look bad to a jury if e-mails and internal memos mention that someone thinks the employee may be disabled, and then the company denies it knew.
Recent case: While Daniel Drozdowski was working for a car dealership, his father died. Then the dealership fired him for attendance problems. Drozdowski claimed the termination was discrimination against him—that his fragile emotional state had caused the dismissal. A jury apparently disagreed and believed managers, who testified that they never suspected Drozdowski was seriously depressed after his father’s death.
Drozdowski asked the court to ignore the jury’s conclusions, arguing that he had indeed told managers he was having mental problems. Apparently the jury hadn’t believed him, and the court refused to second-guess the jury. (Drozdowski v. Northland Lincoln Mercury, No. 04-756, WD PA, 2007)
Final note: If there had been internal memos or other documents showing thatsuspected mental problems, then the jury might have believed Drozdowski.
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/4284/dont-assumeits-up-to-employee-to-raise-disability-issues "
- Discovered performance problems while worker was on FMLA leave? You can fire him
- DOL can pursue visa pay violations even without a complaint
- No 'Hands-Off' status just because of discrimination complaint
- Retaliation case doesn't have to rely on specific bias claim
- Former Wachovia controller files whistle-blower suit