The EEOC recently obtained a $50,000 settlement on behalf of an employee for America's Thrift Stores of Alabama who allegedly was refused a reasonable accommodation and fired because of her chronic illness, degenerative joint disease.
The EEOC claimed that the employee had a good work record, but once she requested accommodations concerning lifting and reaching restrictions, ATSA denied her request and ultimately terminated her.
Chronic illnesses are generally defined as those lasting a year or longer and can include inflammatory conditions, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and more. Statistics indicate that about 40 percent of U.S. workers have at least one chronic ailment, and about 20 percent have two or more.
When an employee has a chronic illness, organizations face many legal challenges. For starters, you must ensure that you don't discriminate against an employee whose condition falls under the definition of a "protected disability" under the ADA. The ADA may also require you to provide the employee with a reasonable accommodation, such as a change in scheduling, altering the way certain non-essential job duties are performed, or reassignments to a vacant position. FMLA questions involving reduced-schedule or intermittent leave may also arise.
With all of these factors, it is more important than ever for you to understand your legal obligations so you can help prevent discrimination claims and accommodate your employees.
Participate in this interactive webinar, and you'll learn:
- How to tell if a chronic illness qualifies for protection under the ADA
- Your obligations to provide "reasonable accommodations" for chronically ill employees under federal law
- The key legal difference between chronic conditions and those impairments that are episodic or in remission
- How to respond when an employee presents with a chronic illness, including dealing with ambiguous work restrictions from medical providers
- How to balance your obligations under the ADA and FMLA
- Why leave is a last resort and never a first option as an accommodation under the ADA
- How to develop a strategy to assist an employee in performing his duties
- Tips for managing the challenges associated with specific job functions
- How to identify which job functions are really essential and what to do when workforce adjustments make a function that was marginal now essential
- The obligation to conduct a continuous interactive process whenever circumstances change and how that affects long-term accommodations for employees whose accommodations may no longer be reasonable
- Proactive strategies for coping with coworkers' stress or resentment when someone has a chronic illness that requires team members to pitch in more than they want
- Best practices for managing intermittent or reduced schedule leave concerns for those with chronic illnesses
About your presenter:
Attorney Patricia Eyres is the managing partner of Eyres Law Group, LLP, a specialized law practice focusing exclusively on helping employers in the areas of labor, employment and education law. Her clients range from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses, school districts and public agencies. In addition to guiding employers through the maze of risks associated with workplace discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims, she is an expert on return-to-work, reasonable accommodation and leave of absence compliance. As CEO/Publisher of Proactive Law Press, LLC, Ms. Eyres supervises the production and publication of books, training materials, educational products for business owners, managers and trainers. She is the author of four books and 350-plus articles in trade and professional journals on proactive legal management of the workplace. As founder and President of Litigation Management &Training Services, Inc., Eyres speaks internationally, consults with organizations on developing and enforcing effective policies, and trains managers to lead within legal limits. Her workshops focus on methods for preventing costly lawsuits or minimizing disruption when unavoidable claims occur. Ms. Eyres has earned the National Speakers Association's Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation, the speaking profession's highest international measure of professional platform skill and proven professional achievement. She was named a Meeting Professionals International (MPI) Platinum Speaker for 2006-2007. MPI Platinum Speaker designation denotes the top rated speakers at MPI National Conferences based on audience interaction, content, delivery, humor and professionalism. She is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences.
In just 90 minutes, you'll learn the best practices for accommodating employees with lifelong illnesses. Register now for this informative event risk-free.
|About The Provider:
||BLR® is the leader in helping organizations, and their employees, reduce safety, environmental and employment compliance-related legal exposure, stay on the right side of law, and achieve their full potential. We offer best-in-class compliance product and services that includes news, information & analysis, best practice guidance, employee training and turn-key tools delivered in a wide range of formats from online applications, live events and websites to books, CD's, Video, Posters and newsletters geared to all sized organizations and industries.