Accommodating Employees With Allergies and Odor Sensitivities
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Do you know how the ADA applies to employees with allergies and odor sensitivities? Learn what's required to properly accommodate employees affected.With allergies and odor sensitivities on the rise and affecting millions of Americans, employers are increasingly confronted with the challenge of accommodating such conditions in the workplace. As a result of the ADA Amendments Act, many more employees are filing disability-related claims for failure-to-accommodate, discrimination, and retaliation, causing employers to question how to properly accommodate such conditions. For example, a Michigan court determined that an employee for the City of Detroit, with an allergy to certain air-fresheners and perfumes, could proceed with her ADA claim, because, according to the court, her disability substantially limited the major life activity of breathing. The employee was awarded $100,000 and attorneys' fees.
This topic will provide you with the necessary information to determine if an employee or applicant claiming an allergy or odor sensitivity is covered by the ADA, how to implement appropriate policies addressing allergies and odor sensitivities in the workplace, properly accommodate employees affected by these conditions, and otherwise comply with the requirements of the ADA, as modified by the ADAAA.
Nancy L. Gunzenhauser, Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. Frank C. Morris Jr., Epstein Becker & Green, P.C.
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