Clients who call in on SB ANSWERS: OUR MONTHLY TELEPHONE CONSULTATION PROGRAM ask more questions that bring into play a consideration of the Americans with Disabilities Act than any other law. Of course, employers are required to deal with injuries and illnesses in the workplace nearly every day. FMLA is a close second! Workers Compensation is third.
Some of these are one-time, short term incidents while some are long-term chronic incidents----and many raise questions under all three of these laws, sometimes called the 'Bermuda Triangle' because quite frankly it is easy for employers to make mistakes and get lost in this murky area. Add in collective bargaining agreements and employee benefit plans that must be considered and it's safe to say------Watch out: Danger Ahead! So we thought we would lay out a quiz to help you test your basic knowledge in this troublesome area.
1. If an employee is not eligible for FMLA leave, then they need not be considered for leave under ADA.
2. Cancer is a "disability" covered by ADA.
3. If an employee or applicant is collecting Social Security Disability under the SSDI program they can still make a viable claim under ADA to request or demand a job accommodation.
4. Congress passed, and the President George H. W. Bush signed into law, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1991 which defined a "disability" under ADA, the same as the term ---"serious health condition" is defined under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
5. If it is obvious that you will not be able to accommodate an employee's or applicant's clear and obvious disability you need not ask the employee/applicant about ways that you might be able to accommodate it.
6. If an applicant for a job cannot fill in your job application due to a disability, you need not consider them further.
7. Even if you provide "light duty" for individual employees returning from workers compensation leave, you can maintain a rule which states that you need not provide it to employees who are injured off the job.
8. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a "disability" covered by ADA.
9. An individual who suffers a severe compound fracture of the arm that completely heals in four months' time is likely to be considered covered by ADAA's definition of "disability".
10. It is completely acceptable and a "best practice", to limit all leaves of absence to one(1) year.
As one can see, ADA deals with questions of great importance. Indeed when we reveal and discuss the answers next week we will point out that the EEOC and others have filed class actions on some of these points. Again----Watch out: Danger Ahead!