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Overview

Understanding HR's obligations to engage in the "interactive process" when an employee requests a "reasonable accommodation under the ADA is perhaps one of the most difficult obligations you may have. 

The EEOC has provided guidance to help employers understand "how to approach requests for leave as a reasonable accommodation so that employees can manage their health and employers can meet their business needs."

The ADA is legalistic and understanding what you may and may not do and request during the "interactive process" and your confidentiality obligations is tricky. Understanding the many types of "reasonable accommodations" that an employee may request and how to properly respond ensure legal compliance with the ADA is essential to avoid potential legal liability.

Also, properly documenting your having engaged in the "interactive process" and understanding how to obtain the proper medical documentation to substantiate the need for the "reasonable accommodation" is a must.

Why you should Attend

One of the most frequently misunderstood obligations HR has is to engage in the interactive process with an employee who requests a reasonable accommodation under the ADA.

It requires an understanding of who qualifies as a qualified individual with a disability under the ADA, including whether an employee who requests a reasonable accommodation can perform the essential functions of their job.

Areas Covered in the Session

  • Whether a reasonable accommodation includes providing a leave of absence under the ADA
  • Understand the steps to follow when engaging in the interactive process
  • Learn how to deal with uncooperative employees who try to delay or derail the interactive process
  • The definition of undue hardship under the ADA
  • What an employer must show to establish undue hardship
  • Documenting requests for reasonable accommodations
  • Communicating effectively with employees as a part of the interactive process

Who Will Benefit

  • HR Professionals
  • Managers
  • Supervisors
  • Business Owners

Speaker Profile

Steven G. Meilleur, Ph.D., SPHR – is President, CEO – PRAXIS Management Solutions, LLC, a New Mexico-based management consulting firm specializing in human resources, employee relations, leadership, training & organizational development, organizational research and assessment, strategic & operational planning, and non-profit organization management and governance. Dr. Meilleur has more than 40 years of management and executive-level experience in human resources, risk management, and organizational management in the private non-profit public, and private for-profit sectors.

Dr. Meilleur also serves as Senior Vice-President and Risk Services Consultant for Human Resources and Employment with Poms & Associates, a national risk services and insurance brokerage firm. His previous work experience includes public, private, and nonprofit organizations, in executive and management capacities.

He is also on the faculty of the UNM School of Public Administration in the graduate program, teaching in the areas of human resource management, nonprofit organization management, leadership, dispute resolution, organizational change, and human resource development. He has spoken at numerous conferences and workshops across the country, and is a published author in the areas of human resources, marketing, leadership and management development, organizational change and innovation, non-profit organization management, and board development.

Dr. Meilleur received a BA in English Literature and Education from Bucknell University, an Executive MBA from the University of New Mexico's Anderson Graduate School of Management, and his Ph.D. in Leadership and Organizational Learning from UNM. He received his certification as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) by the Society for Human Resource Management in 1995.