Webinar: Workplace Accommodation Challenges

 

 

audio version (opens in a new tab)

 

 

Introduction

This week, I will be summarizing another webinar offered by the

Job Accommodation Network (JAN).

I wrote about Jan previously on my blog. Two examples:

my summary of JAN’s November 2021 webinar about accommodating people with mental health and cognitive disabilities.

And

an article I wrote in 2019 discussing disability disclosure on the job.

If you would like to access past JAN webinars, here is a link to

JAN webinar archives.

The webinar which I attended on January 13, 2022 was

“Next-Level Accommodation and ADA Challenges”.

My summary does not include all topics covered, so I recommend accessing the event archive material. In this article, I will summarize what I learned.

 

The presenter made clear that reference to next level refers to thinking beyond basics in solving problems.

Challenges during the Interactive Process

The interactive process can help an employee receive accommodations from an employer. Challenges can include lack of cooperation or communication by either employer or employee. Or, the need for medical information from employees can pose a challenge during the interactive process. Workarounds can include giving the employee time to provide the medical information. If an employee declines an accommodation, it may be necessary to consider alternative accommodations. The next topic was leave and attendance.

 

Leave and Attendance

If an employee has frequent absences from work due to a disability, a workaround can be to seek information from the employee about how the employer can assist. This could open the door to an employee disclosing useful information. Alternatively, accommodations such as remote work or changing a work schedule could increase employee. Policy modifications and tele-work were also discussed.

 

Policy Modifications

Modifying workplace policies to accommodate disabilities can pose challenges. An example is modifying a no-pets policy to allow service animals. Under the employment section of the Americans with Disabilities Act (Title I), An employee using a service animals cannot be denied at a workplace. Possible workarounds to assist employees who are allergic to animals could include remote work or moving the employee to another place in the office. Another challenge is implementing a no-fragrance policy. Fragrances cannot always be eliminated. One workaround can include limiting exposure to problematic fragrances.

Tele-Work

The presenter stated tele-work has benefited some people. An employer can assess if telework is effective I job performance. If so, continuing tele-work could be continued. The presentation concluded with miscellaneous topics.

 

Miscellaneous

IF a person has a lifting restriction due to disability, it is necessary to consider workplace accommodations. For example, consider modified duties temporarily if that would be feasible. Reassignment may also be an effective accommodation if temporary modifications are not sufficient. Second, some employees with disabilities can experience difficulty communicating with a supervisor. It is important to consider if communication difficulties are a pattern. A workaround can be changing communication methods. The final subject discussed during the presentation was accessible parking availability. Accommodations can include changing a work schedule, tele-work or designating a parking space. Bottom line: It is important to consider various strategies which could resolve a situation.

 

Question for Readers

Of the topics which I covered above, are there any which you are interested in learning more about? I will return with another article.

 

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