What Your Clients Need To Know About The New EEOC Guidance Regarding ADAApr 06 2016, by Sales in
Figuring out ADA rules and regulations can be very tricky for most employers. The EEOC is strict when it comes to ADA policies but at the same time it’s not always clear what employers need to do. What are these new sets of guidance and what do they mean for employers? As an agent, you can fill your clients in on the new EEOC guidance regarding ADA and give them the information they need to make the right choices.
The EEOC has released two new sets of guidance that will actually give some clarity to ADA issues. You can help your clients avoid EEOC violations by telling them about these guidelines and applying the information to your clients’ situations. Now, the thing about these guidelines is that they are actually aimed toward employees who are HIV positive and the doctors who treat them. Whether your client has employees with HIV or not, it’s good to remind them in light of this new guidance that HIV is indeed covered under the EEOC’s regulations as a condition that will almost always be considered a disability.
Why should agents tell their clients about these new EEOC guidelines if they are intended for employees with HIV and their physicians? Because they actually contain great information for employers that can be applied in a more general way. The guides say a lot about what employers can and can’t do when employees ask for accommodation and this is definitely information that you want to pass along to your clients.
For example, the guidelines indicate that employers can ask employees to submit a letter from their doctor documenting the employee’s medical condition and explaining why the employee needs this accommodation. Your clients may have been hesitant to do this in the past for fear of committing an EEOC violation, but you can assure them now thanks to these new guidelines that it is perfectly acceptable to ask for a doctor’s letter. However, remind your clients that they cannot ask the employee’s doctor to give detailed medical information without obtaining a release from the employee. On a similar note, your clients shouldn’t ask for a specific diagnosis. It is legally acceptable for the doctor to provide a general description of the employee’s condition. But employers are well within their rights to ask the doctor if the accommodations would be effective and meet the employee’s needs. The guidelines also reveal another important fact that your clients may not necessarily realize. Employers don’t have to accept subpar work from a disabled employee if the employer has provided reasonable accommodation. But before terminating a disabled employee, your clients need to know that they must have objective evidence that the employee is unable to perform their tasks or is a significant safety risk even with an accommodation.
Dealing with the EEOC and ADA regulations can be confusing. Employers don’t want to make mistakes that could harm their business or their employees. Agents need to keep their eyes open for new info from the EEOC and find ways to share it with their clients.