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Responding to mold allergy illness complaints

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in Human Resources

Q. We have an employee who claims she feels sick whenever she is at work. She attributes it to a mold allergy. What should I do?

A. Your employee has put you on notice that she may need an accommodation for a medical condition. That means you should engage in an interactive dialogue with her to determine (1) whether she has a disability protected under the law and (2) if so, whether you can accommodate that disability without presenting an undue hardship.

If the employee is unable to work only in one building, it is unlikely that she has a disability under the law. Nevertheless, you may want to conduct an air quality test and explore whether there are reasonable ways to mitigate the effects of any harmful materials.

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