5 Best Practices to Keep in Mind When Managing Employee Accommodations
Last week, Optis attended DMEC’s FMLA/ADAAA Employer Compliance Conference. After hearing several sessions regarding the ever-changing employment law landscape and compliance challenges, we thought it’d be beneficial to recap the best practices in managing ADA/ADAAA employee accommodations:
Always engage in the interactive process Have open and transparent communication with your employees if they bring up a medical condition. Ensure your managers and HR team is trained and can identify an accommodation request even if they don’t use the ADA verbiage. Also, take the opportunity to engage in the interactive process after an employee returns from a leave of absence to see if they need an accommodation.
Do your due diligence Although a particular accommodation request may sound unusual, it’s important that you do your due diligence and investigate the request. Document all of your findings.
Stay updated on legislative changes Ensure you have a solid process in place to stay up to date on legislative changes and EEOC enforcement guidance. One of our favorite resources for the latest news is Eric Meyer’s The Employer Handbook blog.
Keep the potential of an audit at the forefront of your mind Have a centralized system in place for any audits that may arise. Ensure that all documentation is organized and all communication regarding an accommodation is ready at a moment’s notice. Conduct a self-audit to test your policies and documentation, if needed.
Ensure your processes include the interplay between FMLA and ADA Don’t manage FMLA & ADA in a vacuum, separate from one another. Even if you outsource your FMLA administration, your organization is still on the hook for managing ADA accommodations.