Disability Inclusion Training • Anne E. Hirsh, MS, CPDM, CoDirector • Job Accommodation Network (JAN) • email@example.com
Job Accommodations • Objectives • JAN Overview • Cost and Benefit • ADAAA Update • Interactive Process • Situations and Solutions • Questions
Job Accommodations • Consultation • Job Accommodations • All industries • All job categories • All impairments • Employment Legislation • Americans with Disabilities Act • Rehabilitation Act
Job Accommodations • Technical Assistance • Free • National • Easy to Use • Audience Focused • Employers • Individuals • Service Providers • Others
Job Accommodations • Practical Guidance • A to Z of Accommodations and Disabilities • SOAR (Searchable Online Accommodation Resource) • Employers’ & Employees’ Practical Guides • ADA & Rehabilitation Act Library • Interactive Process
Nuts & Bolts • Costs and Benefits • Workplace Accommodations: Low Cost, High Impact • http://askjan.org/media/lowcosthighimpact.html
Research Findings • Finding #1: Most employers report no cost or low cost for accommodating employees with disabilities. • Results • Over half of accommodations (57%) were made at no cost. • Of the 36% who experienced a one-time cost to make an accommodation, the typical cost of accommodating an employee was $500.
Research Findings • Finding #2: Employers report accommodations are effective. • Results • Of those responding, 73% reported the accommodations were either very effective or extremely effective.
Research Findings • Finding #3: Employers experience multiple direct and indirect benefits after making accommodations. • Direct Benefits of Accommodation • 90% Retained a valued employee • 71% Increased employee’s productivity • 54% Increased employee’s attendance • Indirect Benefits of Accommodation • 64% Improved interactions with co-workers • 59% Increased overall company morale • 56% Increased overall company productivity
Research Findings • The study results consistently showed that the benefits employers receive from making workplace accommodations far outweigh the low cost.
Job Accommodations • ADAAA Update
Reasonable Accommodation Process • Why Have a Process? • Consistency • Successful Accommodation • Good Faith Effort • ADA Basics • ADA Amendments Act – Broadened Disability • Everything Else – Stayed the Same • ADA Requires Reasonable Accommodation • Interactive Process Recommended
Job Accommodations • Guiding Principles • makes it easier to meet the definitionof “disability” • states the definition of “disability” in the ADA “shall be construed in favor of broad coverage” and “should not demand extensive analysis”
Job Accommodations • Language of basic definition remains: • An individual has a disability under the ADA if he or she: • has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities; • has a record of such an impairment; or • is regarded as having such an impairment.
Job Accommodations Five key changes to the definition of “disability”: • “major life activities” expanded to include “major bodily functions,” • “substantially limits” redefined, • ameliorative effects of “mitigating measures” not considered (except “ordinary eyeglasses and contact lenses”), • rule for impairments that are “episodic” or “in remission,” and • “regarded as” redefined.
Job Accommodations • Nuts and Bolts • Get past disability • Don't confuse disability and accommodation • Make decisions that are job-related and consistent with business necessity • Train your frontline • Document your actions • Remember ADA rules for reasonable accommodation
Job Accommodations • Employers: • Can choose among effective accommodation options • Do not have to provide accommodations unless needed because of a disability • Do not have to provide accommodations that pose an undue hardship • Do not have to provide personal use items needed in accomplishing daily activities both on and off the job • Do not have to make an accommodation for an individual who is not otherwise qualified for a position • Do not have to remove essential functions, create new jobs, or lower production standards
Nuts & Bolts • Do provide: • Reasonable Accommodation • ADA: Big Picture • Do not: • Discriminate
Nuts & Bolts • JAN’s Interactive Process
Nuts & Bolts • Step 1: • Recognizing an Accommodation Request • Starting the Interactive Process
Nuts & Bolts • What is a reasonable accommodation request? • An applicant or employee asks for something that is needed because of a medical condition.
Job Accommodations • An employee who is on FMLA notifies his employer that he will need additional leave after his 12 weeks of FMLA run out. • Is this an accommodation request?
Job Accommodations • Is this an accommodation request? • Yes. • More leave (an accommodation) is needed • Because of a medical condition
Nuts & Bolts • What an accommodation request is not: • Guess work • Mind reading
Nuts & Bolts • An employee comes to work smelling of alcohol. The employer confronts the employee. He admits he’s been drinking. • Is this an accommodation request?
Nuts & Bolts • Is this an accommodation request? • No. • No mention of underlying medical condition causing a problem at work • “Is there anything we can do . . .” • Refer to EAP if available
Nuts & Bolts • Bolts • Err on the Side of Caution • Conduct Training • Assign Responsibility • Act Quickly • Streamline Procedures • Step 1: Nuts • Missing a Request • Unnecessary Delays
Nuts & Bolts • Step 2: • Gathering Information • Getting What You Need To Process the Request
Nuts & Bolts • What is allowed? • Limitations, work-related problem, accommodation ideas • Medical documentation • Employee has a disability • Employee needs an accommodation
Nuts & Bolts • The doctor of an employee who was not injured on the job indicates that the employee will need light duty for six weeks until his back injury heals. • Is this enough information for us to research accommodation ideas?
Nuts & Bolts • Is this enough information for us to research accommodation ideas? • No. • Light duty does not have specific meaning • Do not know actual limitations
Job Accommodations • Medical Documentation: • Employee requests accommodation and the disability and/or need for accommodation is not known or obvious • Definition of disability: an • impairment that substantially • limits one or more major life • activities • Verify need for accommodation • ADA confidentiality rules
Job Accommodations • “List” of Conditions • Deafness, blindness, mobility impairments requiring use of a wheelchair, intellectual disability (mental retardation), partially or completely missing limbs • Autism, cancer, cerebral palsy, diabetes, epilepsy, HIV infection, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy • Mental impairments such as major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, • post-traumatic stress disorder, • obsessive-compulsive disorder, • schizophrenia
Nuts & Bolts • What is prohibited: • Irrelevant information • Information that is known or obvious
Nuts & Bolts • In the past, an employee with multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) asked not to have to attend face-to-face meetings in the office, but rather to attend them remotely. The employee recently asked to attend a week-long training remotely because of her MCS. • Does the employer have all the information needed to process this request?
Nuts & Bolts • Does the employer have all the information needed to process this request? • Yes. • Employer has documented a disability • Employer has documented the need for the accommodation
Nuts & Bolts • Bolts • What, Why, How • Do You Already Have It? Why Do You Need It? • Step 2: Nuts • Getting What You Need • Not Asking for Too Much
Nuts & Bolts • Step 3: • Exploring Accommodation Options • Figuring Out What Accommodations Might Work
Nuts & Bolts • What should you do? • Brainstorm • Think outside the box • Talk with the employee • Use available resources
Nuts & Bolts • A child therapist wanted to continue working while undergoing treatment for cancer. Because of her treatment she had a suppressed immune system and her doctor recommended she wear a mask while working. She found a mask that did not interfere with her speech, but found out that it frightened some of the young children she worked with. It looked like she might have to take leave time until finished with treatment. • What might she or her employer do?
Nuts & Bolts • What might she or her employer do? • Call JAN! • Mask with cartoons • Met employee’s needs and allowed her to perform her job
Interactive Process • A call center employee with heart/circulatory problems needs to take breaks to move around. Allowing more breaks will interfere with the employer’s call routing system. • How can we figure out what else might work?
Interactive Process • How can we figure out what else might work? • Call JAN! • Under desk pedal device • Meets employees needs without leaving her desk
Interactive Process • A federal employee with lupus works in a large room with cubicles and asks the employer to remove or filter all the overhead lights in her area. • How should the employer decide which accommodation to choose?
Interactive Process • How can we figure out what else might work? • Call JAN! • CubeShield • Meets employee’s needs with a low cost solution
Nuts & Bolts • What should you not do? • Say “this is not how we do it” • Rigidly stick to policies • Not listen to anyone else
Nuts & Bolts • A new supervisor decided that none of her employees would be allowed to work at home anymore. One employee asked to continue working at home during flare-ups of her gastrointestinal disorder. The new supervisor said “No, the new policy is no one works at home. You can take leave time.” • Is this okay?
Nuts & Bolts • Is this okay? • Probably not. • Rigidly stuck to policy • Did not consider other options • Insisted on leave
Nuts & Bolts • Bolts • Forget Laws • Forget Policies • Focus on What Could Work • Ask the Employee • Ask the Doctor • Ask JAN • Step 3: Nuts • Saying “NO” Too Quickly • No Ideas