88,778 cases were filed with the EEOC in 2014
Average employee verdict exceeds $200,000
14% of all verdicts exceed $1 million
Average settlement is $75,000
Legal fees average over 100,000
Wasted time, an emotional roller coaster, impact on the company’s brand among all stakeholders — priceless.
Inform staff about the basic principles of the ADA and reasonable accommodation. They must know the employer’s obligations under the ADA, general accommodation requirements, and how to avoid discrimination.
Train staff how to recognize and respond to an accommodation request. This is where a formal reasonable accommodation procedure will help management engage and implement accommodations in a way that is fair and consistent. When an employee indicates that a medical condition is causing a work-related problem, a supervisor or manager should treat it as an accommodation request until a definite determination is made.
Limit the sharing of medical information. Employee medical information should be shared with only those who are considered to be on a need-to-know basis. In many cases, medical information is provided to HR, however, supervisors and managers often do not need to know an employee’s specific medical impairment to implement accommodations. Details about the accommodation may be all that is needed. Knowing fewer details about an employee’s medical impairment will be beneficial when other employees ask questions about accommodations – the manager won’t be in a position to unnecessarily reveal information s/he is not aware of.
Don’t perpetuate or tolerate harassment. Expect management staff to communicate respectfully and interact positively with employees who have accommodations, as should be expected with all employees. Management should refrain from making negative or derogatory remarks in response to an accommodation request or questions from co-workers about accommodations.