What is "reasonable" in "reasonable accommodation?"
Read the following case and discuss how you would handle this if you were the HR manager at this particular construction company. What should the manager do?
ADA - Manager has repeated seizures, requests employer provide transportation.
The EEOC issued an interesting opinion letter involving a project manager involved in construction who had repeated seizures and who requested the employer for assistance in getting from the office to various construction sites. The first question was the type of questions the employer is allowed to ask the employee's physician after the employee had experienced repeated seizures at work. The opinion indicates that the employer was entitled to seek disability-related information after the employee experienced a seizure while at work and that most of the questions were permissible because they focused on the effect of the medical condition and its symptoms on the employee's ability to perform job responsibilities. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), an employer may seek "disability-related" information from an employer, if the inquiry is "job-related and consistent with business necessity." Such inquiries and medical examinations are "job-related and consistent with business necessity," the EEOC said, when an employer "has a reasonable relief, based on objective evidence, that:
- an employee's ability to perform essential job functions will be impaired by a medical condition; or
- an employee will pose a "direct threat" due to a medical condition.
The purpose of this standard is to require that employers have legitimate reasons for seeking medical information while insuring their ability to obtain relevant information necessary to make an informed employment decision. Given the circumstances, the employer could reasonably believe that a seizure might impair the employee's ability to work and that there might be certain hazards in the work site that could create a significant risk of substantial harm to the employee or others if a seizure occurred.
The second question pertained to the manager's request that his employer provide assistance in getting from the office to the construction sites. The employer's response was that a shuttle service was available but the manager said that the service requires a minimum of one week's advance notice and that he had to go to construction sites on a short notice.
In your opinion, is the employee asking for a "reasonable accommodation?" What would you do as Human Resources manager?
It is quite obvious that in a situation of this nature the employee who is having the seizures can pose a direct threat to other employees at the organization as well as to himself. Due to this factor, it is very important for the human resource manager to take every precaution possible in order to avoid any detrimental harm coming to the individual that is having the seizures or the other employees within the organization. This situation and the manager's ...