COVID-19 AND ADA REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS
Question of the Week
If we decide we can accommodate employees to work from home because of COVID-19, are we required to hold a formal interactive process meeting with every employee?
No. If you have determined you are able to provide a work from home accommodation due to COVID-19, you are providing a short-term/temporary accommodation. The ADA does not require a “formal” interactive process meeting, but an informal process. When accommodations are temporary, you can feel comfortable to engage telephonically and briefly with minimal written documentation. We recommend:
- Have a phone call (Use Short Term Script 2) with the employee explaining that you will be extending to them a short term/temporary reasonable work from home accommodation
- Send them a letter explaining what you let them know on the phone call along with a Temporary Modified/Light Duty Agreement (TMLD) for them to sign (Form ST-2)
- Calendar to follow up with them before the end of the Agreement (you choose how long the TMLD will be good for, e.g., 30, 60, 90+ days)
To download the above-mentioned free scripts and templates go to www.shawhrconsulting.com/covid. You will be asked to become a member of site. Membership is free.
Be sure to sign up for updates as COVID-19 has taught us, nothing is static!
About the Shaw HR Consulting COVID-19 Disability Compliance Program
The program is being offered for free on the Shaw HRC website.
Program materials have been created to help employers manage accommodation requests during the COVID-19 pandemic related to disability — such as requests to work from home — at a time when organizations are asking employees to return to the workplace or requests for leave related to COVID-19.
The Shaw HR Consulting COVID-19 Disability Compliance Program includes:
- General Guidelines
- Video Training on the Materials
- Sample Scripts
- Template Letters and Forms
The Program is designed to offer employers an ADA compliant framework to manage work from home requests during this unprecedented time. As with all compliant programs, a consistent process is key to ensure your good faith efforts are documented. Shaw is happy to provide its clients with this process, as we work together as an HR community to continue doing good work. Click the button below or go to www.shawhrconsulting.com/covid to download program materials.
All program materials should be considered samples and should not be acted on without legal advice. Organizations are encouraged to contact their legal counsel prior to relying on any materials in this program.