EEOC Provides Guidance on Specific Disabilities in the Workplace

Posted on Tue, Jun 04, 2013

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The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently issued revised “Q&A” documents addressing how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to applicants and employees with four specific disabilities:

The documents are part of the EEOC’s “Disability Discrimination, the Question and Answer Series.”

The revised Q&A’s reflect changes to the definition of disability made by the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA). The ADAAA made it easier for an individual who brings an ADA claim to establish a disability. Under the ADAAA, the definition of “disability” will be construed in favor of broad coverage.

The revised Q&A documents cover topics such as what types of reasonable accommodations an employee with a specific disability might need. The documents provide specific examples. For instance, the guidance on cancer states that some employees with cancer may need one or more of the following accommodations:

  • Leave for doctors' appointments and/or to seek or recuperate from treatment
  • Periodic breaks or a private area to rest or to take medication
  • Modified work schedule or shift change

California employers are reminded that state disability protections under the Fair Employment and Housing Act may be broader in some areas than federal law. At the end of 2012, California amended its disability regulations.


Author: Gail Cecchettini Whaley

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Tags: Disabilities, HR Allen Consulting Services, discrimination, HR Informant, EEOC