Question of the Week: COVID-19 and ADA Reasonable Accommodations – week 7

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Question of the Week



How do we encourage employees to return to the office/workplace? 


Have a call-back communication strategy.  You care about your employees and would not bring them back until you believed that it was safe to do so (at least as safe as their regular life activities) … communicate this!  At a time when you are asking employees to come back to the workplace, be sure to share both why they matter, and why their physical presence makes your organization stronger or service better. We find that the better the communication strategy, the fewer requests to work from home employers receive. Employees need to understand and believe that you requiring them to return is not arbitrary, but needed for the health of the company or to support your customer base. They are important. You need them and that is why you have made this decision. You are only calling them back because it is safe and because they are needed. Consider sharing statistics about safety. Consider sharing your county or city statistics that show a warranted return, e.g., lowered infection rates. Some employees need to hear from you, so they can have the courage and appropriate level of comfort to return to work.

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
  • Flowchart
  • FAQ

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 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.

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