Friday, January 11, 2013

Nurses and the Americans with Disabilities Act

What does the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) have to say about Health Care Workers and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?

You can read the EEOC’s Questions and Answers about Health Care Workers and the Americans with Disabilities Act here. You'll find answers to common questions like:
  • When is a health care worker an individual with a disability under the ADA?
  • Are health care applicants or employees who are alcoholics or who engage in illegal drug use considered to have a disability under the ADA?
  • What determines if a health care worker is “qualified” to perform a job within the meaning of the ADA?
  • What is a request for accommodation, and what should an employer and an individual with a disability do after a request for accommodation has been made?
  • Will an employer’s “light duty” program satisfy its obligation to make reasonable accommodations under the ADA?
  • and more
Health care is the largest industry in the American economy, and has a high incidence of occupational injury and illness. The ADA protects a qualified individual with a disability from disparate treatment or harassment based on disability, and also provides that, absent undue hardship, a qualified individual with a disability is entitled to reasonable accommodation to perform, or apply for, a job or to enjoy the benefits and privileges of employment. The ADA also includes rules regarding when, and to what extent, employers may seek medical information from applicants or employees. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces the employment provisions of the ADA. Most states also have their own laws prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of disability. Some of these laws may apply to smaller employers and provide protections in addition to those available under the ADA.

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