01 Sep The Interactive process
What Is The Interactive Process and How Do I Use It for Employee Accommodations?
When it comes to figuring out how to work with employees who might need an accommodation for their work due to a disability or due to an increased susceptibility to COVID-19, employers should be working through the interactive process suggested by the EEOC.
We could spend hours talking about the legalities, but here is a practical guide. We do think it best to talk with an attorney (hi there!) when working through the interactive process, but employers should not the practicalities.
The Interactive Process and Undue Burden
The interactive process for ADA compliance and working with employees with greater susceptibility to COVID-19 requires employers to collect potential accommodations. But the law does not require an employer to implement any one accommodations. There is a concept of undue burden. If the requested accommodation is an undue burden on the employer in terms of cost, business interruptions, personnel, or other factors, the employer does not have to implement. But undue burden is a high subjective, fact-based assessment.
The Interactive Process: Final Thoughts for Small Businesses
We close out our discussion of the interactive process with some final thoughts and a pointer to a fantastic resource for accommodations and other guidance, the Job Accommodation Network.