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The Disabled Workforce

Staying Inspired as Disability Compliance Coordinators

By Rachel Shaw, MBA, President and Principal Consultant, Shaw HR Consulting

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) promoted equal access for Americans of all abilities. While the landmark legislation’s intent was noble and made the most significant strides to benefit those with disabilities the country had seen, it may be one of the most abused laws in employment. While there is little data to prove the abuse, those who work in disability compliance can attest to the frustration related to supporting employees who may not be as disabled as they claim to be.

Evaluating medical needs and exploring appropriate reasonable accommodations are not easy tasks. Add in that employment litigation involving disabilities ranks as the second most commonly cited claim in charges filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)1 — ahead of those involving race, sex, and age — and it’s easy to see why understaffed human resource (HR) groups feel like they are set up for failure in this area.

What can your organization do to combat this growing need and support HR teams? The answer is two-fold: Revamp your process and inspire HR employees.

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