If an employee with a disability who is at high risk requests an accommodation, the EEOC states that the employer may discuss with the employee:
- Medical documentation of a disability that isn't obvious, in order to see how this limits their work and what their accommodations are
- How the requested accommodation will effectively address the limitation
- Whether alternative accommodations could solve the issue
- How the proposed accommodation will enable the employee to continue performing the job's essential functions
If you do become aware of an employee's medical condition, you should inquire if the employee needs an accommodation in order to perform the essential duties of his or her job. If the worker does not request a reasonable accommodation, the ADA does not require that the employer provide accommodations.
Keep your management staff trained on current CDC and the State of Ohio "
Responsible ReStart Ohio
" guidelines in order to effectively communicate to staff and be mindful of the risks of exposure to high-risk employees. Managers should understand the confidentiality requirements for all medical information received from employees and also to keep the lines of communication open. Lastly, managers should remember that flexibility is key in conversations with staff at this time.
Getting our employees back to work safely is the main goal. We want our employees to perform those essential job functions in the safest way possible for them. If you can't safely accommodate in the workplace, it may be time to discuss telework or a possible temporary alternative position.
Joanna Forbes, MS, SHRM-CP | Owner/Chief Consultant | Forbes Human Resources, LLC