Accommodation Examples for Cancer, Diabetes, Epilepsy

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
released informal guidelines on May 15, 2013, which
highlight specific examples of reasonable accommodations
for people with cancer, diabetes, epilepsy and
intellectual disabilities.

A good deal of general information about accommodations
for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is
available, but the EEOC has decided to offer some guidance
on the types of accommodations that can be considered for
the above 4 conditions.

Cancer
Examples of accommodations would include:
*Leave for doctors’ appointments and/or for seeking to
recuperate from treatment.
*Periodic breaks or a private area to rest or to take
medication.
*Modified work schedule or shift change.
*Permission to work at home.
*Modification of office temperature.
*Permission to use work telephone to call doctors if the
employer’s usual practice is to prohibit personal calls.
*Reallocation or redistribution of marginal tasks to
another employee.
*Reassignment to a vacant position if the employee can no
longer perform the job.

Diabetes
Examples of accommodations would include:
*A private area to test blood-sugar levels or to
administer insulin injections.
*A place to rest until blood-sugar levels return to
normal.
*Breaks to eat or drink, to test blood-sugar levels, or to
take medication.
*Leave for treatment, recuperation, or training on
managing diabetes.
*Modified work schedule or shift change.
*Reallocation of marginal tasks to another employee.
*Reassignment to a vacant position if the diabetic no
longer can perform his duties.
*Use of a stool for someone who has difficulty standing a
long time because of diabetes-related nerve damage (i.e.,
neuropathy).

Epilepsy
Examples of accommodations would include:
*Breaks to take medication.
*Leave to seek or recuperate from treatment or adjust to
medication.
*A private area to rest after a seizure.
*A rubber mat or carpet to cushion a fall.
*Adjustments to a work schedule.
*A consistent start time or schedule change.
*A checklist to help remember tasks.
*Permission to bring a service animal to work.
*Someone to drive to meetings and other work-related
events.
*Permission to work at home.
*Reassignment to a vacant position if the employee no
longer can perform his job.

Intellectual Disabilities
Examples of accommodations would include:
*Reallocation of marginal tasks to another employee.
*Extra training when necessary.
*A tape recorder to record directions as a reminder of
steps in a task.
*Detailed schedules for completing tasks.
*Modified work schedule or a shift change.
*Help in understanding job evaluations or disciplinary
proceedings.
*A job coach, who can help the employee learn how to do
the job; provide intensive monitoring, training,
assessment and support; and help develop a healthy working
relationship between management and the employee by
encouraging appropriate social interaction.
*Acquired or modified equipment.
*Reconfigured placement of workstation from a large open
area to a quieter part of the office.
*Reassignment to a vacant position if the worker no longer
can perform his or her duties.
*Tweaked training on how to do the job, such as
instructions at a slow pace, additional time to finish
training, descriptions of job tasks in sequential steps,
and the use of charts, pictures or colors.

HR POINTER: The important point to remember with ADA
accommodations is that a company is not required to make
changes just because an employee has an unusual request.
However, the company is required to engage in an
“interactive process” with the employee to discuss the
types of accommodations that are available. In the
absence of an interactive discussion with an employee, a
company is assumed to have acted contrary to the ADA.

The common mistakes by employers in ADA cases that show up
as patterns in lawsuits are:
*Assuming there is no duty to accommodate.
*Waiting too long to negotiate reasonable accommodations.
*Waiting too long to implement reasonable accommodations.
*Assuming an accommodation is an undue hardship without
really analyzing its difficulty or cost;
*Failing to document the discussions with an employee or
applicant about reasonable accommodations.
*Using the need to accommodate as a factor in a decision
about employment status, such as a promotion or layoff.

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