Yesterday, I wrote about the need for employers to be more accommodating for their employees’ protected needs. Today, I bring you two real-world illustrations.
- Yesterday, the EEOC announced that it had filed suit on behalf of an employee who was denied the opportunity to return to work following some time off for a cardiac condition.
- Late last year, the EEOC reached an $85,000 settlement with an employer who fired an employee attempting to return to work following time off for cancer chemotherapy treatments.
In both instances, the EEOC made the same point—the ADA imposes on employers an absolute duty to determine whether or not they can accommodate an employee’s disability. Absent that consideration, the law has been violated. Moreover, after engaging in that interactive process, the employer can only deny the request: 1) if it poses an undue hardship, or 2) if the employee cannot perform the essential functions of the job with or without the accommodation. Otherwise, you may find yourself on the receiving end of an EEOC press release, which is not the position you want to be in.