Our Award-Winning New York Employment Law Attorney is often asked to speak on the topic of disability discrimination and reasonable accommodation in the workplace. In general, if an employee is disabled under the applicable law and puts the employer on notice of such disability and the need for a reasonable accommodation to perform his or her own duties, the employer may be required to engage in the interactive process to determine if a reasonable accommodation can be made. A typical accommodation case maybe where a secretary develops carpal tunnel syndrome, he or she may ask her employer for a gel pad to lessen any discomfort associated with typing or request a change in duties provided an undue burden is not placed on the employer. This blog post discusses a recent case and it is not intended to provide specific legal advice – each case is unique. You should consult an experienced employment lawyer to learn your rights and options you may have as an employee or your obligations, best practices and defenses you may have as an employer.
In conclusion to a near two-year litigation, the EEOC’s lawsuit again Chemical Transportation, Inc. (CTI), a trucking company, highlights the need for businesses to insure that all supervising and decision-making staff are trained on their obligations with respect to reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities under all federal, state, and local discrimination laws.
Commencing in 2013, the EEOC brought claim against CTI alleging that its policies violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by prohibiting employees from working with any medical restriction and by terminating employees if they were unable to return to “full, unrestricted duty” after taking their twelve-week Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave. Additionally, the EEOC averred that CTI unlawfully denied the requests of employees with disabilities for transfer to qualified open positions.
The resulting settlement included CTI agreeing to pay $300,000.00, hiring a neutral consultant to ensure compliance with the ADA, revising their policies with respect to medical restrictions, creating a system of evaluation for managers and supervisors, and taking certain other affirmative actions, reasserts the need to consider unpaid leave as a reasonable accommodation. This is in addition to the presumably significant legal fees incurred by CTI in the litigation. Typically in a settlement the Company’s obligations terminate upon paying a settlement but here their obligations are ongoing to ensure compliance with applicable disability law.
A company’s responsibilities with regard to providing reasonable accommodations to its workforce can be complex and not necessarily straightforward. If you have any questions about providing or considering reasonable accommodations in the workplace, and want to learn your rights, options and/or obligations, contact our Award-Winning NY Employment Law Attorney for a confidential consultation at (800) 893-9645.
Disclaimer: Thank you for visiting our Blog. This blog provides general information and thoughts about various employment law issues primarily in the New York Tri-State area and occasionally in other areas. You are welcome to read the posts. However, do not construe any content on this blog as legal advice or the creation of an attorney-client relationship. Again, we provide the content only for informational purposes. You should not make decisions based information on our blog since the application of the law depends on the facts and each situation may be different. In addition, the law in most jurisdictions is different and changes constantly and we make no representations that any information on our blog has been updated. The Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from an experienced attorney in your state or jurisdiction. From time to time, a blog post may discuss a legal case – please note that the post may not contain the most to update information on the case as developments may have occurred after it was created.