Food Allergies in the Workplace Under the ADA
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Recognize and properly address food allergy and reasonable accommodation issues to prevent running afoul of the ADA.Many employers, either because of the nature of their business - for example, those in hospitality - or because of lunch or break rooms or on-site cafeterias, must consider the issues arising from employee food allergies and the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA requires employers to not discriminate against employees with food allergies in the terms and conditions of their employment due to a disability. It also requires employers to make reasonable accommodations based on an employee's needs arising from a food allergy disability. The ADA obligations of employers take on greater significance with the increase in diagnoses of food allergies. This topic will help human resource and other employer officials to recognize and properly address food allergy and reasonable accommodation issues to prevent running afoul of the ADA and often parallel state laws.
AuthorsFrank C. Morris Jr., Epstein Becker & Green, P.C.
What Are Food Allergies?
• Food Preferences vs. Allergies
• Medically Documented Dietary Restrictions
• The Sharp Increase in Food Allergies
When Does the ADA Cover Food Allergies in the Workplace?
• Broad Coverage of the ADA After the ADA Amendments Act
• Terms and Conditions of Employment Must Be Equally Afforded to Employees With a Disability
• When Do Food Allergies Qualify as an ADA Covered Disability?
• Must an Accommodation Assist in the Performance of Essential Functions to Be Required?
Food Allergies and the Interactive Process
• Must an Employee With a Food Allergy Request a Reasonable Accommodation?
• What Are the Employer's Obligations If a Food Allergy Accommodation Is Requested?
• The Interactive Process for Food Allergies
• Documentation of the Interactive Process for Food Allergies