Employers sometimes forget that just because a condition has a name and can be serious, it doesn’t always mean it’s a disability. That’s because the ADA requires an individualized assessment to see whether the condition substantially limits a major life function like walking, talking, seeing, breathing, working or taking care of oneself.
In one recent case, an admitted alcoholic who had undergone inpatient treatment was deemed not to be disabled under the ADA and therefore not entitled to reasonable accommodations.
Always assess each disabled employee individually before agreeing to accommodations.
Recent case: Mike Taylor admits he is an alcoholic. He had even undergone inpatient treatment for alcoholism and depression and attends Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. But when he asked for a transfer from Colorado to another state in order to be closer to his family, his employer said no.
Taylor sued, saying the rejection amounted to denying him the right to a reasonable accommodation.
The court disagreed. It looked at Taylor’s testimony. He claimed the only limitation caused by his admitted alcoholism was that he couldn’t associate with certain people (presumably those who drink alcohol) or play sports.
That wasn’t enough, the court concluded. And since he wasn’t disabled, he wasn’t entitled to any accommodation. His case was dismissed. (Taylor v. Union Pacific Railroad, No. 4:07-CV-00501, ED AR, 2008)
Final note: Of course, alcohol treatment is most likely a serious health condition under the, so taking time off for treatment qualifies as .
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/6847/alcoholism-isnt-always-an-ada-disability "
- Use caution when dealing with 'Protected concerted activity'
- FMLA rules as thick as a phone book? Be prepared for FMLA interference lawsuit
- Warn bosses: No griping about pregnancy-related absences
- Are departed employees eligible for bonuses?
- You're not a doctor! Don't restrict pregnant employee's work unless her physician says so