Work Reassignment Dispute of Employee With Diabetes

Subject: Law
Pages: 2
Words: 519
Reading time:
2 min

The American With Disabilities Act requires any employer with fifteen or more employees to provide a reasonable accommodation unless it would cause undue hardship to individuals with disabilities. The various kind of reasonable accommodation includes: restructuring a job to suit such persons, altering how a task is done, changing the type of job, modifying work schedules, and modifying work policy. According to the Equal Employment Commission’s Enforcement Guidance on Reasonable Accommodation and Undue Hardship under the ADA of 2002, an Employer does not have to allow violation of a uniformly applied conduct rule, the impact of the accommodation on the operation of the facility which is listed under hardship issues. ADA is also only applicable with 15 or more employees (according to the revision of 2004) furthermore according to the Supreme Court rulings of 2002 (which was a case of US Airway vs. Barnett), the burden of proof lies with the individuals with disability in a lawsuit that alleges failure to provide reasonable accommodation.

The employee will need to show that the accommodation seems reasonable in its case. The pre-dispute Arbitration Agreement, which the employee accented to when being hired, bares the employee from suing the employer without proper arbitration should the employer fail to provide reasonable accommodation. The first option to pursue is negotiation. This is due to the fact that under law, should the employee prove that the accommodation is really reasonable, it will be hard to prove that it may bring undue hardship to the enterprise. It would also be costly to call upon an arbiter in such a case since the arbiter also has to be paid. Moreover, in the ADA document, the employer is mandated, in cases where disability may not be so obvious, to question the employee on their suggestions and needs, which effectively constitute negotiation. So as to find a meeting point where work rules are not violated and the employee is comfortable, like assigning the employee to a vacant position. Since it would be unfair to violate work rules, which constitute undue hardship since it is also legal according to ADA, it would be an option.

Another option would be to agree to arbitration should the employee, having been barred from direct legal redress, decide to pursue this option. This option would be available for exploits since, from the factors that I have enumerated beforehand, it would be difficult for the employee to win in court. It is also relatively cheaper than other available options like mini-trial, private trial, or summary jury trial. Being that during arbitration, there is the presentation of evidence and the whole procedure is just like that of a court of law, it would be unlikely that it would be in favor of the employee also being that it is known whether the arbitration decision is binding or not it is easy to extrapolate on the possible outcome in a court trial. The last option would be the litigation process. This would be informed by the strength of the judgment and presented information at the arbitration process.