On May 15, 2013, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated its questions and answers series regarding workplace rights and the prevention of discrimination against individuals with the following disabilities:
This update highlights the EEOC's overall Strategic Enforcement Plan, which includes providing up-to-date guidance on the requirements of antidiscrimination laws, in this case the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
More specifically, the guidance touches upon how the ADA applies to job applicants and employees who have or had cancer, diabetes, epilepsy and intellectual disabilities. For example, the guidance addresses:
When an employer may obtain medical information from applicants and/or employees;
How an employer should treat voluntary disclosures of a specific disability (e.g., whether an employer may ask follow-up questions if an applicant voluntarily discloses that he or she has cancer);
What types of reasonable accommodations an employer can provide individuals with these specific disabilities;
How an employer should handle safety concerns about applicants and employees that may relate to these disabilities; and
What preventative measures an employer may take to avoid disability-based harassment claims.
Employers should review the EEOC's updated guidance and train their managers, disability management professionals and supervisors accordingly.
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