Forget 100% Healed Policies In Order to Return to Work

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If your company has what is known as a “100% Healed” policy before you allow an employee to return to work, you have a policy that automatically violates the ADA.

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Many companies have policies that require an employee to remain out of work until he/she is completely healed. On the surface, this may sound like a safe policy for the company and the employee. The problem is that by enforcing this policy, the employer will not engage the employee in the interactive process that is required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The interactive process is designed to explore the range of accommodations that could be provided to an employee in order to get the employee back to work, not get the employee 100% healed. Plus this interactive process must be documented to prove the mutual exchange of information took place. A company is obligated to implement reasonable accommodations providing those accommodations do not create an undue hardship for the company or a safety issue for the employee or others. A company, Nevada Restaurant Services, just paid a $3.5 million to settle an EEOC disability discrimination lawsuit because it maintained a 100% Healed policy. This company required people with disabilities or medical conditions to be completely healed before returning to work and even fired employees without engaging in any discussions about accommodations. But paying the $3.5 million fine is the easy part. When such cases settle, there is always a consent decree that the EEOC imposes on the company. In this case, the consent decree requires the company at a minimum to: #1 Retain a consultant with ADA experience to review and revise company disability policies as appropriate. #2 Implement effective ADA training for supervisory personnel and existing staff. #3 Provide ADA training to all new employees within 60 days of hire. #4 Develop a centralized tracking system for employee requests for disability accommodations. #5 Submit regular quarterly reports to the EEOC verifying compliance with the consent decree for 3 years. If your organization as 15 or more employees and maintains a 100% Healed policy, you need to think seriously about eliminating that policy.

Dedicated To Enhancing Your HR Assets!

Kiesha Valentine, PHR, SHRM-CP, CMHR
Human Resources
Cell: 714-982-1789
Mailing Address:
5753 E. Santa Ana Canyon Rd., Suite #G242
Anaheim Hills, CA 92807


 




Categories: HR NEWS

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