Employers are interacting with employees to provide reasonable accommodations for Coronavirus.
I started a blog article with this title a few weeks ago. I was planning to discuss attendance problems as a result of the basketball games. With the current state of events right now, the title still seems appropriate. I can still talk about attendance issues, just not due to watching basketball games.
Due to the Coronavirus, should you, as an employer, offer some accommodations to your employees, even if they are not disabled? There seems to be a lot of fear about this virus. We have gotten used to hearing about the flu every year, but this virus seems to be causing more concern.
Many companies have cancelled both foreign and domestic travel for their employees unless it is essential. Many events are being postponed. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has postponed some of its national courses. Schools and universities are cancelling classes and/or teaching classes virtually at least for a few weeks. One college in Kentucky has cancelled the rest of its semester, is sending students home and has said diplomas will be mailed and there will be no commencement service.
We know that, if an employee has a disability and requests a reasonable accommodation, the employer must enter into the interactive process with the employee and provide a reasonable accommodation unless it would create an undue hardship. Employees with compromised immune systems or with respiratory issues may be requesting additional accommodations under the current conditions relating to the coronavirus. Employers should be working with them to determine what an appropriate accommodation may be.
Many jobs lend themselves to telework. Various tasks may be accomplished using technology like virtual meetings. It seems that we may need to think outside the box at this time to accomplish the missions of our various companies. We have technology readily available like never before. Let’s see what we can do to keep our companies running smoothly and still operate within the law.
If you have questions about reasonable accommodation and the interactive process, feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (502) 553-7648. Stay healthy!