Cases show importance of training on ADA requirements

Some employers in Wisconsin and elsewhere seem to have a poor understanding of their responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act as well as the rights of their employees under the law. When an employer violates the provisions of the ADA, resulting in harm to a disabled employee, the employee may file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Three recent cases underscore that employers must make certain their human resources personnel and other employees are all thoroughly trained in the ADA and its requirements. In the first case, a man was terminated from his job while he was taking leave that had been authorized for heart bypass surgery. In the second case, a man was forced to stay on leave for months after he had a seizure at work but had clearance from his physician to return. Finally, in the third case, a deaf woman was not provided with a sign language interpreter and was instead forced to rely on notes.

These cases show that employers and their staff need to be trained on how to proceed when there is an ADA issue. Employees should also learn about their rights to obtain leave and how to request a reasonable accommodation if they need one.

The Americans with Disabilities Act is meant to protect workers who have certain disabling conditions with finding and keeping their jobs. If an accommodation is needed for the worker to be able to perform the job’s requirements, employers are supposed to make that accommodation if it is a reasonable one. Not all requested accommodations are considered to be reasonable, however. People who have had their requests denied may want to speak with an employment law attorney to see if a violation of the ADA has taken place.

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