The ADA and the Interactive Dialogue: Finding a Balance With Adam Morell

The Interactive Process plays a bigger role in ADA administration than it used to; since the ADA was amended in 2008, the EEOC has said that “the determination of whether an employee is disabled
disability should not require extensive analysis.” Appeals courts universally stress the importance of the interactive dialogue, and a recent 5th circuit sums it up nicely, saying that employers and
employees must have “flexible, interactive discussions” about
employees’ accommodation requests.

Adam Morell is the Director of National Technical Compliance for ADA Accommodations for Sedgwick -the world’s largest third party administrator (TPA). He leads compliance and development efforts
for Sedgwick’s ADA, accommodations and return to work products. Adam has over 20 years of related experience, and during this time has had a variety of roles with a heavy focus on workforce absence
compliance, training and policy development.

Adam holds a Juris Doctor, with honors, from the University Of Baltimore School Of Law and is admitted to the Bar in Maryland. He began his career as an employment litigator before moving to the HR and consulting side.

On a personal note, he has been married to his wife Kirsten for nearly 20 years (which he calls the smartest decision he ever made) and has two sons, ages 16 and 13. He is a big fan of the arts, theatre and popular culture. His guilty pleasure is music from the late 1970s
and early 1980s.

Listen and learn as Adam navigates through the ADA, the Interactive Dialogue, and Leave as an Accommodation: Focusing on the needs of the employee while balancing the business needs of the organization.

He focuses on these key questions:

1. Can you give us a little overview of the ADA, its relationship to FMLA and maybe some insight on which law presents a bigger litigation risk?

2. You mention “reasonable accommodations” in these situations. Can you talk about that. What’s reasonable?

3. Must an employer consider leave as an accommodation?
Should an employer do so? How much leave must be given?

4. Can you talk about the role that intermittent leave can play in the ADA arena? Is it different than in FMLA situations? Follow up: will intermittent leave under ADA serve as a license for an employee to come and go as they please?

5. What are some takeaways for our listeners?