Employers – Do Not Ignore Doctor’s Note re Employee’s Disability

A recent EEOC settlement serves as a reminder to employers not to make judgments about whether an employee can perform a job – especially when a doctor’s note provides objective information about the employee’s abilities. 

In the case, the employee suffered a brief epileptic seizure on his first day of work at the client facility where he was placed by his employer, a temporary employment agency.  The client asked the employee for a doctor’s note, which the employee returned to the  agency the next day.  The agency did not provide the note to the client, or tell the employee the note was inadequate.  Instead, the agency did not permit the employee to return to work at the client, effectively terminating his employment. 

 The EEOC sued the agency for disability discrimination and the case was settled for $80,000.  The take-away for employers from the EEOC is: the ADA applies to temporary employment agencies; and, employers must notify employees if the employer believes that a medical certification does not provide sufficient evidence that the employee is qualified to work.  http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/8-13-12a.cfm

 

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