Recent cases from the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination and the Massachusetts Appeals Court offer guidance for when you have to offer an employee a transfer as a disability accommodation and when you do not.
What You Need To Know. There is no fixed rule on offering a transfer or new job in response to a request for an accommodation. As set forth below, each case will be reviewed based upon its specific facts. But, don’t let anyone tell you that you never have to transfer an employee or that you must transfer an employee if the employee makes this request to accommodate a disability.
Under Massachusetts law, employers have traditionally been advised that they are not required to transfer an employee to a new job if the employee’s disability prohibits the employee from performing his or her current job. Continue reading →
On September 16, 2013, the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (“MCAD”) issued a decision holding that an employer was not required to allow excessive absenteeism as an accommodation to a diabetic employee. The case, MCAD v. Affiliated Professional Services is discussed below.
What You Need To Know. While an employer needs to provide a reasonable accommodation to an employee with a disability, an employee still needs to come to work often enough to perform his or her job. Unlimited sick time is not a reasonable accommodation and will not be required by the MCAD. In addition, an employer does not have to accommodate a disability that disrupts the workforce.
An employee of Affiliated Professional Services (“APS”) suffered from diabetes. Unfortunately, the employee’s diabetes was almost uncontrolled and the employee suffered from frequent bouts of hypoglycemia and loss of consciousness. Continue reading →
On September 12, 2013, the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (“MCAD”) issued a decision finding that a company illegally retaliated against an employee who had recently complained of discrimination. The case, MCAD v. Saybolt, LP is discussed below.
What You Need To Know. Anytime you want to discipline or terminate an employee who has complained of discrimination or any violation of law, you must recognize that your action could be seen as illegal retaliation. Before taking any action, you should review the facts and make sure your decision to terminate or discipline the employee hasn’t been influenced, at all, by the employee’s recent complaints. Further, since your decision could easily been seen as retaliation, you should consider slowing down your process and taking less drastic steps to help improve a problem employee. Only after your efforts to help the employee have failed should you move forward and terminate someone based upon performance if the person has recently filed a complaint.
This ruling by the MCAD discusses a classic case where a company has trouble managing an employee who has complained that a manager discriminated against the employee. Continue reading →