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Move on if employee won’t discuss ADA accommodation

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

Employers are supposed to engage in the interactive accommodations process with disabled workers to arrive at workable accommodations. But what if the employee stops communicating with HR about suggested accommodations? Then it is time to move on after documenting your engagement efforts.

Recent case: Mary asked for rea­­son­­able accommodations for a disability. But soon, the employer’s suggestions were met with silence. It documented its efforts and then stopped trying to communicate with Mary.

She sued, alleging failure to accommodate. The court dismissed the case, since Mary failed to engage in the interactive process. (Phillips v. Victor Community Support Services, 9th Cir., 2017)

Final note: Always document the initial accommodation request and each contact with the employee and other parties. Be specific. What accommodation did you offer? What was the response? Was there a counter suggestion?

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