Accommodating Employees With Allergies and Odor Sensitivities
|Date / Time:
With allergies and odor sensitivities on the rise and affecting millions of Americans, employers are increasingly confronted with the challenge of accommodating such conditions in the workplace.
As a result of the ADA Amendments Act, many more employees are filing disability-related claims for failure-to-accommodate, discrimination, and retaliation, causing employers to question how to properly accommodate such conditions. For example, a Michigan court determined that an employee for the City of Detroit, with an allergy to certain air-fresheners and perfumes, could proceed with her ADA claim, because, according to the court, her disability substantially limited the major life activity of breathing. The employee was awarded $100,000 and attorneys' fees.
This topic will provide human resources professionals and attorneys with the necessary information to determine if an employee or applicant claiming an allergy or odor sensitivity is covered by the ADA, how to implement appropriate policies addressing allergies and odor sensitivities in the workplace, properly accommodate employees affected by these conditions, and otherwise comply with the requirements of the ADA, as modified by the ADAAA.
What Allergies and Odor Sensitivities Are Protected Under the ADA?
Determining Whether an Employee With an Allergy or Odor Sensitivity Is a Qualified Individual With a Disability
- Are Allergies and Odor Sensitivities Considered Disabilities for the Purposes of the ADA?
- What Is the Technical Difference Between Allergies and Odor Sensitivities?
- How Does Asthma or Chronic Respiratory Infection Affect ADA Obligations?
What Types of Accommodations Are Employers Required to Provide?
- Permissible Inquiries
- Medical Exams – When May They Be Used?
Best Practices for Employers
- How the New ADA Regulations Affect the Accommodation of Employees With Allergies and Odor Sensitivities
- Determining What Might Constitute a Reasonable Accommodation, and/or If Such an Accommodation Would Cause Undue Hardship to Your Organization
About The Presenters
- Creating a Proper Process to Determine Whether an Individual With Allergies or Odor Sensitivity Is a Qualified Individual With a Disability Under the ADA
- Implementing a Policy Concerning Allergies and Odor Sensitivities
- Preventing Conflicts When an Employee's Allergy or Sensitivity Requires an Accommodation Affecting Co-Workers Use of Perfume or Toiletries
- Lessons Learned From Recent Cases Regarding Allergies and Odors in the Workplace
Nancy L. Gunzenhauser
Frank C. Morris, Jr.
- Associate in the Labor and Employment practice, in the New York office of Epstein Becker Green, P.C.
- Counsels clients on compliance with EEO laws, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, worker classification issues, and other federal, state, and local statutes governing the workplace
- Advises employers in all facets of the employment relationship, from pre-employment considerations and hiring to terminations and post-employment restrictions
- Prepares employment, consulting, and separation agreements
- Audits employers’ employment policies, procedures, and handbooks to ensure compliance with applicable laws and best practices
- Conducts workplace training seminars for employees, managers and human resources personnel
- Assists in defending clients in labor and employment-related litigation in a broad array of matters, such as discrimination, harassment, retaliation, breach of contract and wage and hour disputes
- Chair, employment law practice in Washington, D.C. and director of the Disability Practice Group for the national law firm of Epstein Becker & Green, P.C.
- Asked to speak on the ADA and employment law to the judicial conferences for the federal trial and appellate judges of Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eleventh Circuits and chaired Federal Judicial Center/ALI-ABA National ADA Program
- Adjunct professor at the George Washington University Law School
- Member of the American Law Institute employment and labor law advisory board and ADA program chair
- Named to Best Lawyers in America and a Super Lawyer for Washington, D.C. by Super Lawyers magazine, and Washington, D.C. and Baltimore’s Top Rated Lawyers
- Represents and counsels employers and public accommodations nationally in employment, labor, leave and disability matters
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