The Interactive Process for Reasonable Accommodation
When disability, injury or illness strike, the American Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers and employees to engage in a collaborative effort — the interactive process (IP) — to determine what reasonable accommodations can be made that would allow a disabled employee to return to work.
Dr. Dupree provides services to employers who, to ensure fairness and neutrality in the process, choose to engage the services of a third-party mediator or facilitator experienced in disability related matters.
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What is the Interactive Process?
An employee and a representative of the employer, typically someone with responsibilities for human resources, meet face-to-face and bring various ideas to the table to see whether the employee can be accommodated in returning to their usual and customary position or some other type of work. If they find that a certain aspect of the position can be reasonably modified to accommodate the employee’s change in capacity, then plans for such accommodations are made, as required by the law.
If the usual and customary position cannot be modified sufficiently, or if continued performance represents a direct threat to the employee or to others around, or if pursuit of accommodations represent an undue hardship, then those involved in the process evaluate alternative work in open positions for which the employee is qualified and can perform with their limitations.
Why is it necessary?
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) requires employers with 15 or more employees to accommodate an otherwise qualified employee with a disability unless doing so would pose an undue hardship or direct threat.
Further, under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and other state statutes, it is unlawful to treat a qualified employee or job applicant unfavorably because of a disability. Like the federal law, California laws also require employers to provide reasonable accommodation to qualified employees who are disabled.
How do I get started?
It’s easy to get started. Just follow the steps below and we’ll get the ball rolling to make sure you stay in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).
- Step #1:
- Complete the Meeting Request Form with Dr. Dupree, Disability Consultant and Meeting Facilitator.
- Step #2:
- Schedule your Interactive Meeting. Use my on-line scheduler to find a time that works best for you!
- Step #3:
- Secure the Employee’s Consent to Release Medical Information
• For non-Joint Powers of Authority (JPA)/non-Workers’ Compensation (WC) disability issues: Use this Authorization to release medical report blank (fillable)
• For JPA/WC disability issues: Use this Authorization to release Athens medical report blank (fillable)
- Step #4:
- Schedule a complimentary 15-minute call prior to the Interactive Process Meeting to discuss any issues of concern as to how they may impact the reasonable accommodation process.
Complimentary Discovery Session
Take advantage of a complimentary 15-minute consultation!