Creating accommodations for current and future employees can be a delicate subject and should be handled with the utmost care. Establishing and implementing a Disability Accommodation Policy is the best way to ensure accommodation requests are fulfilled and routed through the correct channels.
Below are 8 tips from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on how to best implement disability accommodation policies in your small business.
1. Specify to both job applicants and internal employees that your business provides reasonable accommodations to those who need them for medical reasons, as required by law.
2. Identify the individuals responsible for handling reasonable accommodation requests and ensure their contact information is easily accessible.
3. Require managers to respond promptly and effectively to reasonable accommodation requests.
4. Explain that additional medical information or documentation may be needed to establish whether an individual's medical condition is protected by law and what types of accommodations would be effective.
5. Provide clear communication throughout the process. Whether a decision is denied or approved, it is important that the additional accommodations be explained to the applicant or employee.
6. In addition to clear communication, documentation is equally important. Require managers to document and keep any medical information received as part of an accommodation request or during the accommodation process. This information should be kept confidential and in a separate medical file.
7. Make sure employees are aware and have the ability to report discrimination related to reasonable accommodations.
8. Lastly, it is essential that managers understand the implications of violating reasonable accommodation policies.
Maintaining best practices around Employment Policy is an effective way to reduce risk within your organization. If you are looking for more information on other risks associated with employment practices, checkout our blog on Employment Practices Liability Insurance(ELPI). If you think your business could benefit from EPLI, contact one of our agents today!
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