The Latest on ADAAA and EEOC
Last week’s seminar brought out a number of great conversations on EEOC. Questions ranged from “what is a reasonable accommodation” to “what can an HR person disclose a manager” to “what role does the employee play”. It also brought up the issue of morale and reasonable accommodations under ADA.
It can be very easy to disclose medical information when it’s not warranted in an attempt to protect someone requiring an accommodation. Just remember, there are very few people that should or need to know.
We also discussed the release of the final regulations for the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) earlier this year. The regulations have given some good examples and definitions for employers to follow to comply with the much tighter requirements.
As we said in the seminar, for those employers attempting to comply with the original spirit of theADA, not much has changed. For those organizations looking for loopholes in the original law, ADAAA is a much different world. Remember, an ‘undue hardship’ must be just that…except it’s not completely defined for you. EEOC really wants you to engage in dialogue to attempt to find solutions.
One of the overall themes throughout the seminar was job descriptions. Used correctly, they can be an organization’s savior. When a company can continually point to a ‘good’ job description and keep managers to the requirements of the job during interviews, performance appraisals, and the disciplinary process, it can reduce the likelihood of that awkward moment when you know something just communicated that made you wish you had a time machine. Also, always remember that the essential functions in a job description actually need to be essential. While perfection is rarely ever achieved, a well thought out, accurate job description certainly manages the risk…at that’s what we’re all trying to do.