All About Absence: The ADA and Workplace Accommodations

All About Absence: The ADA and Workplace Accommodations

Protections for Americans With Disabilities

Understand the anti-discrimination laws your clients must enforce in the workplace and how we can help them stay compliant.
All About Absence: The ADA and Workplace Accommodations

What Is the Americans With Disabilities Act?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted in 1990 and protects people with disabilities from discrimination in the workplace. The 2009 ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) expanded the definition of qualifying disabilities.

What Your Clients Need To Know about ADA Accommodations

Employers are responsible for maintaining a compliant ADA accommodation program in their workplace. Your clients should be aware of their legal obligations under these federal laws:
  • Employers must evaluate accommodation requests and make decisions within a reasonable timeframe. Once the employer makes a decision, it needs to be communicated to the employee, implemented, documented and monitored.
  • The PWFA went into effect on June 27, 2023. This law protects pregnant workers and job applicants who have temporary limitations due to pregnancy, childbirth or other related conditions. The PWFA is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).1
  • The EEOC investigates hundreds of accommodation complaints against employers each year and recovers more than $10 million a year in benefits for employees.2
  • The ADA and the PWFA are enforced by the EEOC and apply to employers with 15 or more employees.3

Creating an ADA Compliant Workplace

The complex and evolving regulatory landscape under the ADA poses a continuing challenge for today’s employers. A strong workplace accommodation program is essential for effective workforce management, yet it can place administrative burdens on your clients’ internal resources. By outsourcing some of the interactive process to our workplace accommodation services, your clients’ business can benefit from:
  • Streamlined tracking and reporting
  • Consistent treatment standards and review practices
  • Verification that employee accommodations and absences are warranted, and that staff return to work safely and quickly
  • Enhanced productivity with reduced absence-related costs through stay-at-work accommodation flexibility
When discussing the ADA and accommodations in the workplace with your clients, you should ask:
  • Do they have a centralized and consistent mechanism to document the requests, facilitate the interactive process, track accommodations and assess outcomes?
  • Are their policies and practices for accommodations compliant with other leave and disability programs?
  • Do they have a workplace accommodation policy that clearly outlines the accommodation request process for their employees?
  • In light of the Pregnant Workers Accommodation Act (PWFA), do they have a process for employees to request an accommodation due to pregnancy-related limitations?
  • Do they have training available to educate managers and front-line staff on how to recognize an accommodation related request and support them through the process?
  • Are their job descriptions up to date with essential job functions and physical requirements of the job? 
Leer más about how your clients can be flexible and creative with job accommodations.
Contact your representative at The Hartford to learn about our Absence Management solutions.

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1 U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: What You Should Know About the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. Viewed August 2023.
2 U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: Pregnancy Discrimination Charges FY 2010 - FY 2022. Viewed February 2023.
3 U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: Fact Sheet: Disability Discrimination. Viewed August 2023.
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