ADA Tool Kit

October 26, 2010

Given the (over) breadth of the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment Act (ADAAA), almost any given condition may be found to be a covered disability.  The emphasis for employers now shifts to an inquiry as to whether the employee is a “qualified individual with a disability.” In other words, can the employee perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodation.

The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), which is part of the Department of Labor, has developed a “tool kit” to try and help employers (and employees) with ways to understand how to return employees back to work following an injury or illness that qualifies as a disability.  The tool kit is especially helpful for employers who may be struggling to come up with ways to reasonably accommodate an employee.  The tool kit also guides employers on how to increase the effectiveness of their return to work strategies by developing an integrated disability and absence management (IDAM) program, which the ODEP believes will enable an employer to reduce job-related injuries and accommodate employees. The employer tool kit also provides overviews of employers’ obligations under workers’ compensation laws, the FMLA, ADA, and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.