EEOC Disability Guidelines: Part 2

family-medical-leave-actThis post is the second in our two-part December blog series highlighting key aspects of the EEOC’s interpretation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Today we will focus specifically on the ADA’s interpretation of intellectual disability and severe illness disability.

Intellectual Disability

2.5 million Americans have been diagnosed with an intellectual disability. However, just as with all other disabilities, the ability to ask an applicant or employee about the disability are very limited. However, once an individual with an intellectual disability is hired an employer may ask about an employee’s intellectual disability to the extent necessary to support the request for a reasonable accommodation, to verify the use of sick leave related to the disability, and for the employee to participate in a wellness program.

Accommodations for intellectual disabilities include not only on the job accommodations, but also application accommodations such as:

  • Providing a reader or interpreter to process complex information for the applicant with the disability.
  • Showing, rather than explaining what the job requires.
  • Providing modified tests, manuals, or training materials.

Individuals with intellectual disabilities also may be entitled to reasonable accommodations on the job including, but not limited to:

  • Reassigning marginal tasks to another employee
  • Providing more detailed, slower, and more extensive training on the job
  • Provide a tape recorder so that the employee can record tasks
  • Acquire other equipment to assist an employee in performing the duties of the job
  • Provide a job coach
  • Modify a work schedule

These accommodations can be requested by anyone other than the employee.

Severe Illness Disability

The EEOC does not provide as robust of an interpretation for individuals with severe illness diagnosis, such as cancer patients. However, it does list a number of special accommodations related to such cased, including:

  • Leave for doctors’ appointments
  • A private area to rest or for periodic breaks
  • Permission to work from home
  • Changes in office temperature

The EEOC also lists the job accommodation network as an additional resource, which provides a list of accommodations for many types of disabilities.

If you have been discriminated against by an employer, former employer, or potential employer due to your disability or perceived disability, contact California employment law attorney Michelle Baker right away. You may be entitled to a lawsuit or settlement for an employer’s discrimination or discriminatory practices. To learn more, schedule a free consultation online or us at call (858) 452-0093.