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Collaborative Post: Work Restrictions and Accommodations

Originally posted: February 20, 2011 on TrishMcFarlane.com

One of the great benefits of blogging for me has been collaborating and discussing ideas with you.  The ability to reach out to leaders in human resources, marketing, PR, finance, management, and many other fields makes all the time I spend writing worthwhile.  For that, I thank you.

I’ve been thinking a lot about work restrictions and accommodations lately and today, I’d like to get your opinion.  There are organizations that have the ability to return employees to work with restrictions and those that don’t.  And, there are so many situations where an employee may ask to have an accommodation made, whether it be following a FMLA leave, a non-qualified FMLA medical leave of absence, or as part of an ADA protected need.  While the laws are clear on how to handle the actual leaves and who qualifies, it is not as clear around the act of making an accommodation and how that decision can or should be made.

There are resources I use such as the Department of Labor site and the Job Accommodation Network.  What I’d like to hear is how your organization handles work accommodations that are not ADA related.  We’ll all be able to learn from the comments and will all be more well-informed.  I encourage you to write as much as you are comfortable sharing.

  • Following FMLA leave, does your organization require employees to have a release back to full-duty?  If not, what tools or techniques do you use to determine if a restriction can be accommodated?
  • How do you handle employees who are not on leave of any kind but are unable to perform all essential job duties (assuming they are not covered by the ADA)? What if they don’t ask for an accommodation but other employees do part of their work?

Thanks in advance for contributing!


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