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Short Term Disability/Return to Work

Employee has been out on STD. Says he is coming back to work next week but has several restrictions. I requested a doctor’s note detailing what those are. He is looking to do a job that is not 8 hours p/day. His STD benefits run out and that is why he states he is asking to come back to work. Do I have to accommodate these restrictions?

Whether the need for accommodations is due to an ADA protected disability must be considered. Private employers, state or local governments, labor unions, and employment agencies with at least 15 employees must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The ADA defines an individual with a disability as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities or a person who has a history or record of such an impairment.

Under the ADA, employers are required to make reasonable accommodations to allow employees with disabilities to do their jobs. Depending upon the circumstances, job restructuring or reassignment may be considered reasonable accommodations. Employers have an obligation to participate in discussions with employees to include an interactive exchange of information which specifically addresses reasonable accommodations.

Employers aren’t required to provide an accommodation that would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the business. Undue hardship is defined as an action requiring significant difficulty or expense for the employer considering its size and resources. If claiming undue hardship be sure to have sufficient evidence to back up your decision.

It’s also important to consider how other similarly situated employees have been treated in the past. If an employer has past practice of providing similar accommodations to employees than this employee shouldn’t be treated any differently.

This entry was posted on Saturday, October 4th, 2014 at 8:13 pm and is filed under
Human Resources Management, Labor Laws.
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