Foley & Lardner LLP Of Counsel Mark Neuberger is quoted in the SHRM article, “Missouri Discriminated Against Employee with Disability,” offering guidance and warnings for how employers should handle requests for workplace accommodations.
Neuberger said, “After litigating employment cases for over 30 years, my opinion is that juries are increasingly intolerant when the jury believes the employer did not do the right thing.”
“Many employers fail to take the time to go through the interactive process with the person seeking an accommodation because the employer is afraid of what the employee may ask for. This is a mistake. Employers should be willing to have the discussion and should be willing to offer other reasonable accommodations. Under the ADA, the accommodation doesn’t have to be the one the employee wants. It just has to be one that offers them the opportunity to do their job,” he explained.
Neuberger emphasized the importance of training managers on how to handle these issues.
“This area of law is complicated, oftentimes counterintuitive to managers and full of potential potholes for companies to fall into, especially when the employee’s condition also implicates the Family and Medical Leave Act, disability insurance and workers’ compensation,” he added.