Anxiety Disorders And Their Relationship To The ADA
Written exclusively for ChubbWorks
Commentary and Checklist
A Detroit casino will pay $140,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit brought against it by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on behalf of a pit manager. In its lawsuit, the EEOC alleged that the employer failed to provide a reasonable accommodation to the manager who suffers from a stress-anxiety disorder.
The manager collapsed on the job because of his anxiety disorder. When he requested an additional four weeks of extended leave before returning to work, the employer denied his request. The employer then terminated him after he exhausted his Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave.
The EEOC alleged that the employer's conduct violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities. Leave can be a reasonable accommodation.
In addition to paying $140,000 to the terminated employee, the employer agreed to train managers and the human resource department on ADA requirements. "Greektown Casino to Pay $140,000 To Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit," www.eeoc.gov (Jan. 24, 2018).
- Review your disability policy. Is it clear how accommodation requests are made (do not require them to be made in writing) and how they are evaluated within your organization?
- Train managers and supervisors on ADA requirements and make sure they quickly refer all accommodation requests to human resources for evaluation. Also, train them to listen for informal requests for reasonable accommodation.
- When organization rules (e.g., no eating at a desk) conflict with doctor ordered treatment plans, make certain that needs for the rule substantially outweigh the treatment needs of the employee.
- Provide education and training regarding the disability to human resources and the supervisor of an employee with a disability so that they understand what tasks the employee can and cannot perform.
- Employers do not have to remove essential functions, create new jobs, or lower production standards as an accommodation.
- Consult with legal counsel before making any employment decisions that adversely affects an employee with a disability.
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