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Is back pain a disability? Not always.

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in Centerpiece,Employment Law,Human Resources

According to the National Institute of Health, about 80% of adults experience lower back pain at some time during their lives. In fact, back pain is the most commonly cited cause of work-related disability.

But is back pain always an ADA-qualifying disability? Sometimes it isn’t.

Recent case

A recent case shows that not everyone who suffers from back pain is disabled—meaning it impairs a major life function—and therefore entitled to reasonable accommodation. That determination requires having an interactive conversation with the employee to discuss possible accommodations. Only at that point can an employer either approve or turn down an accommodation request.

Nicola worked for Tyson Farms as a meatpacker. On her pre-employment forms, she identified back problems as a health concern but checked “no” when asked if she had any work restrictions. Her past jobs included working as a nursing assistant at skilled nur...(register to read more)

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