Physicians, Employers, and the 100% Mentality within the ADAAA
Have you ever heard an employer say, “We won’t take him back unless he is 100%”. A translation of this phrase is, “Even though it is a clear violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act, we won’t take him back unless he is 100%.”
As I have expressed in this blog and in our monthly webinar series, the intersection of traditional physician return-to-work practice, work evaluator ignorance of the law, and employer frugality will frame a costly nexus of enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act (ADAAA). Recently decided cases support the validity of my thoughts on the matter.
The ADAAA presents a return-to-work decision tree that opposes the common practice of forestalling return to work based on a physician’s restrictions.
In many ways it turns old practices on their head.
Here is a hypothetical from my lay reading of the law:
An employee reports being ready to return to work after an extended absence. The employer has dependable knowledge that the reason for absence had to do with a medical condition. The employer documents his concern for the safety of the individual in regards to safe ability to perform the essential functions of the job. The employer informs the employee’s physician and the employee that return to work will not be allowed until the employee is “100%”.
Question 1: In your experience what does “100%” mean?
Question 2: Regardless of the meaning of “100%”, how is the employer violating the ADAAA?
Question 3: Regardless of the meaning of “100%”, how is the employer contravening Congress’ intention in amending the ADA?
Question 4: Given that the physician has significant knowledge of the employee’s medical status and has set work restrictions, what argument can be made that the physician is violating the ADAAA?
I would love to discuss your thoughts on these questions, so please take a moment to comment or leave feedback!
Learn More About Our *New* Upcoming Conference:
Matheson System for Equitable Employment Determination (M-SEED) Conference
Oct 22, 2012 - Oct 23, 2012
The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) gives human resource professionals the methods and power they have sought for years to affect resolution of lingering lost-time injury cases, to manage requests for reasonable accommodation and to screen new hires for safe work ability. The Matheson System for Equitable Employment Determination (M-SEED) conference is the quickest and surest way for employers, work evaluators, therapists, and risk managers to gain a better understanding of the ADAAA, while hearing first-hand success stories from those who have assisted employers to attain the goal of building healthy and effective workplaces. The M-SEED Conference is your starting point for implementing a plan to grow a healthy and effective workforce based on the spirit of the law.
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