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Disabilities

Can You Hear Me Now? Unilateral Deafness Is Not an ADA Disability

April 3, 2013
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This case is significant because it proves the exception—that a subset of diagnosed medical conditions exists that does not qualify as an ADA-protected disability.
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Accommodating Disabled Job Applicants is No Game

March 20, 2013
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If a job applicant needs an accommodation to complete the interview process, and it does not impose an undue burden, provide it. If it turns out that someone cannot perform the essential functions of the job even with an accommodation, you are within your rights to deny employment. You cannot make that determination, however, unless you consider them for the job first.
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What Do You Do If You Doubt an Employee's Disability?

March 12, 2013
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I hope that I don't have to lecture any of my readers about what is wrong about denying accommodations and firing disabled employees. What rights do you have, however, if you doubt the legitimacy of an employee's claimed disability?
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The CYA Report: Cancer and Careers

March 11, 2013
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The CYA Report podcast is a partnership between Workforce and Fistful of Talent. In this edition, Workforce Senior Writer Rita Pyrillis discusses her March cover story on how companies can support cancer Survivors in the workplace while managing costs. Listen to the podcast below.
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Beware Saying too Much When Engaging in Pre-Suit Settlement Negotiations

March 5, 2013
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If you have to discuss the merits of the case with the employee's lawyer, either do so over the phone or only put in writing what you live with a judge or jury considering.
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Is an Employer Obligated to Provide Light Duty to an Employee Returning From FMLA Leave?

March 4, 2013
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Before denying light duty to an employee returning from FMLA leave, you must consider whether the ADA requires the light duty as a reasonable accommodation. If you have light duty available, and do not have to create a light duty position to accommodate the employee, the ADA will likely require the consideration of temporary light duty as a reasonable accommodation.
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How Long Is Too Long for an Unpaid Medical Leave of Absence? Not Two Weeks and a Day

February 27, 2013
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Think long and hard before you deny a request for unpaid time off for an employee's medical issue, and, when in doubt, call your employment counsel for a sanity check.
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Obsessing (Compulsively) Over Reasonable Accommodations

February 19, 2013
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You need to have a dialogue with an employee about reasonable accommodations. Without opening the channels of communication, you will never know what is feasible. More importantly, without the dialogue, you probably have not satisfied your obligations under the ADA.
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Pre-existing Perspective: New York Court Rules Against Reimbursing Employer

February 11, 2013
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A New York Appellate court ruled that an injured worker's diabetes and obesity do not qualify as pre-existing conditions.
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Requests for Unpaid Medical Leaves Should Be Stamped, 'Handle With Care'

January 22, 2013
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If you are granting a leave to an employee as an accommodation, your best defense to a potential Americans with Disabilities Act claim is to have an open dialogue with the employee about a return date, and prepare to be flexible (to a point). Then, when the employee asks for “one more extension” to his or her leave of absence, no one will fault you as an unreasonable ogre if you decline.
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