Published Date: 07/07/2014
By Pat Rountree
It is important to train your supervisors on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and to help them recognize requests for accommodation and understand confidentiality requirements as well as what company procedures you want them to follow. However, it is equally important to advise new supervisors and managers of existing accommodations for employees whom they will supervise.
A recent newsletter from The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) noted that new supervisors sometimes come in and make changes based on what they see, without realizing that employees may be working at home as an accommodation or that a previous supervisor has allowed others to help an employee with part of his job duties due to medical restrictions.
JAN recommends the following:
- Keep track of accommodations, both formal and informal, and tell new supervisors and managers about existing accommodations when necessary.
- Educate new supervisors and managers about the ADA, especially how to recognize an accommodation request.
- Require new supervisors and managers to notify you and employees in advance of making changes and remind employees that they can ask for accommodations if needed.
- Do not remove existing accommodations before considering new accommodations to take their place. When reviewing accommodations, remember ADA rules about medical inquiries and only ask for medical information that you need and do not already have.
- Keep the lines of communication open and consider having one person be responsible for overseeing accommodations in your workplace. Make sure to periodically remind employees who that person is.
(Source: Job Accommodation Network, Volume 11, Issue 2)