How Employers Can Properly Approach Disability Claims
No matter what industry your client is in, as an employer they must investigate stay-at-work accommodations should a worker be disabled in any capacity that limits their availability to do their job. By not looking into reasonable accommodations, your client is opening themselves up to legal action from not only the employee in question, but also potentially the EEOC.
Just as with any other employee related issue, there are right ways and wrong ways to try to help a disabled employee stay at work. Each scenario will differ of course, however there are some basic best practices your clients could follow to help employees through reasonable accommodations.
First of all, it is important for the employer to provide some type of assistance. Due to the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA), the range of qualifying disabilities has been expanded even further than before. Due to this, employers need to pay close attention to their compliance with the ADAAA before letting an employee go.
Another important factor in approaching disability situations is discussing options with the employee. They may think their only option is to accept disability pay and stop working, whereas perhaps something as simple as a scooter that helps them get from one location to the other would be a more reasonable option, allowing them to keep their job and allowing your client to maintain productivity.
Employers should not automatically assume that accommodations are too expensive. 63% of human resources managers surveyed by The Standard are actually unsure of what reasonable accommodations will cost. The fact is, most accommodations cost less than what most people think, especially if they factor in the cost of potential lawsuits if they don’t provide reasonable accommodations.
Overall, providing reasonable accommodations rather than letting an employee leave while accepting disability offers many benefits to your client; they are able to maintain employee productivity, eliminate the costs of training new employees, and help keep up employee morale by setting an example that their company takes care of their staff.
At PLRisk Advisors, we understand the unique risks that your clients face in all professions. We offer Professional Liability Insurance as well as Employment Practices Liability Insurance and more as part of our comprehensive insurance packages. Please contact us today to learn more at (855) 403-5982.