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American with Disabilities Act compliance still an issue for employers Part 1 of 4

Article legal concept

Twenty-five years after passage of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), the complexity of compliance continues to plague employers.  For years, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has offered little guidance about the law and employee discrimination claims have continued to increase. Following are a few examples:

In EEOC v. Kaufman Container, a long-term machine operator was awarded $120,000 in monetary relief after the company failed to reasonably accommodate her when she became visually impaired as a result of complications related to her diabetes.  In EEOC v. Starbucks, a barista with a mental impairment who required extra training and support was awarded $75,000 after a new manager stopped accommodating her.  And, in EEOC vs Sears, Roebuck & Co., $6.2 million was awarded to 235 employees involved in a class-action lawsuit based on the company’s policy of leave exhaustion.

Over the next three weeks we’ll blog about the following key components of ADA and how to keep from jumping through hoops while staying compliant.

Here are the topics that all employers should understand:

  • Their responsibility under the ADA
  • The need to enter into the interactive process with employees and/or
  • The decision to offer a leave of absence as a possible accommodation for an employee.

We encourage you to call BCN’s professional HR associates to assist as you navigate the process of employee accommodation and leave requests.