Is my Business required to provide a Reasonable Accommodation?
If you are an employer of any size, you have most likely had an employee with a Workers’ Compensation claim. These types of claims can range from a cut finger to a major head injury. The Workers’ Compensation carrier tends to manage how the claim progresses, and advises when the employee should see the doctor and receive a "return to work" date; or perhaps you will be asked to provide a "light duty" job. At some point you need to ask yourself, "Would this qualify under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?"
The employee may now have injuries that give them protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has determined that properly settling a Workers’ Compensation claim while not discriminating against the employee can be a tricky path to walk. While there are many things to keep in mind in this situation, the most important one is this: No matter what happens under Workers' Compensation, nothing can violate an employee's rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and it is the employer's responsibility to manage this potentially delicate process. For example, if an employee wants to come back to work, but can only perform portions of his/her job, what are you obligated to do?
If you have questions on what things your business needs to know in order to be compliant with ADA rules and regulations, reach out to me at Clark-Mortenson today by calling 877-352-2121 or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.