Q. I understand that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has implemented new regulations for employers to fulfill obligations under the ADA Amendments Act. What are these regulations and what steps should I take to make sure that my company complies with them?
by Tanya Reed on September 15, 2011A.
This past spring the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published regulations implementing the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (Amendments Act). The stated purpose of the Amendments Act is to broaden the scope of the coverage and make it easier for individuals to obtain protection under the ADA. The EEOC’s implemented regulations are intended to reinforce this purpose and to shift the burden to employers to ensure they are fulfilling their obligations under the Amendment Act.
Employers must now act proactively in their efforts to comply with the Amendments Act and its implemented regulations. Employers must give close attention to its processes and evaluate them.
Employers should revise their policies and practices to ensure compliance by taking the following steps:
- Review current handbooks and employee policies to make sure they comply with the Amendments Act;
- Revise or develop accommodation policy and process;
- Designate an individual to lead the accommodation process to ensure equal treatment for employees throughout the company;
- Treat the disability certification process like the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) certification process by creating forms and checklists for physicians to complete. These forms should identify the impairment and suggested reasonable accommodations;
- Evaluate and revise current job descriptions to clearly identify the essential functions of each position; and
- Train all HR professionals and company managers about the Amendments Act and the accommodation process which is now more interactive than ever before.
For more information, contact Tanya M. Reed.