Pandemic Related Disability Discrimination

How the pandemic is changing disability discrimination accommodations

Pandemic related disability discrimination is an issue the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently addressed in a lawsuit. Essentially, the pandemic has shifted the workplace view regarding reasonable accommodations for disabled workers.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) states that:

“These modifications enable an individual with a disability to have an equal opportunity not only to get a job, but successfully perform their job tasks to the same extent as people without disabilities.” Employers must provide reasonable accommodations unless it creates an undue hardship for the business or a safety issue.

During the Covid-10 pandemic, many employers required employees to work remotely. In fact, for some businesses, remote work was a cost-saving factor.

EEOC lawsuit against the ISS Facility Services

Recently, the EEOC sued ISS Facility Services for denying a disabled worker’s request to work from home. Ronisha Moncrief worked as a health and safety manager for the company in Georgia. ISS had required all its employees to work from home from March 2020 through June 2020. When they reopened their facility, Ronisha requested that she be allowed two days a week to work from home. She also requested that she be allowed to take frequent breaks when working onsite. She had a pulmonary condition that caused breathing difficulty. This condition also put her at greater risk for COVID-19. The company denied her request and within a short period of time fired her.

Meanwhile, the company had approved requests from other workers for remote work.

After an unsuccessful reconciliation attempt with the company, the EEOC sued. They are seeking compensation for back pay, compensatory damages and punitive damages. They are also seeking injunctive relief to prohibit future discrimination.

Seek Legal Counsel for Issues Concerning Pandemic Related Disability Discrimination

As a result of the pandemic, certain aspects of employment law are changing. An experienced lawyer can help you make the right decisions for your business.

If you have questions or concerns, consult with our attorneys at Stephen D. Hans & Associates, P.C. We are glad to provide you with experienced legal guidance. Call (718) 275-6500 to arrange an appointment.

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