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Disabilities Act Question California

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  • Disabilities Act Question California

    I've tried reading through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ug), and it didn't fully answer this.

    We have an employee who claims to have a disability, but won't give specifics. This employee claims to need certain things that don't seem disability related.

    Can we ask for a doctor's note? The employee keeps "threatening" that we're violating the disabilities act if we don't let the employee do certain things, like take all his phone calls outside, because he "needs to walk while I'm on the phone, disabilities act!"

  • #2
    First, if you're operating in CA, you need to be looking at the state equivalent to the ADA, the Fair Employment and Housing Act. Assuming you have more than 5 employees, you're covered by this act. The FEHA is much more broad than the ADA, particularly with respect to the definition of "disability."

    You can ask the employee for a doctor's note regarding the accommodations needed. While you can't ask for a specific diagnosis, you can ask for any and all information that will help you determine whether a reasonable accommodation can be made. I would suggest sending a letter to the employee requesting this information (everything should be documented in writing very clearly.) It is then up to the employee to respond.

    You have an obligation to engage in the "interactive process" with the employee regarding potential accommodations. However, the employee also has an obligation to cooperate with your efforts and if he refuses to do so, your obligation ends. I would make at least several serious attempts to get the information you need.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Endeavor View Post
      Assuming you have more than 5 employees, you're covered by this act.
      To be completely correct, it's "5 or more" employees (during 20 or more consecutive work weeks in the current or preceding calendar year)
      Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

      Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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