“Let’s talk about it.” These words should be displayed prominently in every HR department as a reminder that employers must enter into a dialogue with employees about their need for a reasonable accommodation for disabilities.
Not heeding that requirement can land the employer in hot legal waters. As witnessed what happened at a Minneapolis-based home health care provider, which the EEOC asserted failed to reasonably accommodate an employee who needed to use a cane because her walking was restricted because of several medical conditions.
As alleged by the EEOC, when supervisors at Baywood Home Care saw the employee using a cane, they informed the owner, who promptly fired her. The home never engaged the employee in the “interactive process” to obtain information from her about her disability and the need for information., the EEOC charged.
The EEOC announced yesterday that Baywood had decided to settle the case, paying $30,000 and submitting to other relief, including training its managers on the ADA’s reasonable accommodation provisions and the interactive process requirement.
Which should stand as an object lesson to employers to take the ADA’s requirements seriously.
Or to put it in Halloween terms on this October 31-the trick is not overlooking the AD requirements; the treat is not being sued by the EEOC.
Read more about the case and settlement.