4 Days: $1,880
3 Days: $1,470
2 Days: $1070
1 Day: $640
Day 1 - Monday, February 22, 2021:
Post-ADAAA: Who Is and Isn’t Covered Under the Amendments Act:
- The ADA Amendments Act of 2009 greatly expanded the definition of who is considered an individual with a disability. The week will kick-off with covering the revised regulations that define who is covered, as well as a discussion as to who is not covered by the Rehabilitation Act, as amended. This session will also discuss the key definitions of “qualified individual with a disability” and discuss how that definition is met.
Proper Procedures for Responding to Requests for Accommodation:
- This session will walk attendees through how to appropriately respond to requests for reasonable accommodation, including a discussion of how an employee can place an agency on notice of a need for accommodation, best practices in determining whether an employee is a qualified individual with a disability, how to promptly respond to avoid claims that a delay in providing accommodation resulted in a denial of accommodation, and when additional information can be requested. The session will also cover how to handle needs for accommodation raised by individuals other than the employee, including supervisors, family members, attorneys and union representatives.
Regarded As, Record Of, and Association With Individuals With Disabilities:
- These lesser-utilized case theories provide standing to employees who are regarded as disabled by their employer, regardless of whether they actually are, who have a record of a disability, or who face discrimination because of their association with an individual with a disability. This portion will cover these case theories and how they can be successfully asserted.
Other Theories of Disability Discrimination: Harassment, Disparate Treatment, Disparate Impact, Retaliation for Requesting Reasonable Accommodation:
- Although claims of failure to provide reasonable accommodation are the most common type of disability claim, there are other theories on which discrimination can be asserted. This segment will discuss the burdens of proof for employees to raise claims of harassment, disparate treatment, disparate impact, as well as retaliation where the protected activity was requesting reasonable accommodation.
Day 2 - Tuesday, February 23, 2021:
How to Conduct an Accurate Assessment of Essential Functions in Order to Respond to a Reasonable Accommodation Request:
- Employers run into issues when they only rely on the position description or a one-sided view of what the actual job duties of an employee entail. This segment will discuss best practices for determining, and documenting, what these essential functions are, as well as what would be considered marginal job functions, in order to respond to a request for accommodation.
Thinking Outside the Box: Creative Approaches to Responding to Reasonable Accommodation Requests:
- Employees are entitled to effective accommodations, not the accommodations of choice. Learn how to creatively approach requests for accommodations such that both sides achieve their goals, including some low-cost accommodations you may not have thought of.
Accommodating Hidden Versus Obvious Disabilities:
- Some disabilities are obvious and the accompanying accommodations will also be obvious (for example, an employee in a wheelchair who requires a ramp to obtain access to the workplace). These types of accommodations require less in terms of medical documentation and analysis and employers should ensure not to overstep in terms of requesting documentation. However, some disabilities are hidden, or not as obvious, and the accompanying accommodations may be less obvious. This session will discuss best approaches to responding to these types of need for accommodations.
Telework As A Reasonable Accommodation:
- Telework, whether full-time, part-time, or situational, continues to be requested with great frequency by employees with disabilities. Learn how to best respond to these requests, when telework can work as an accommodation, considering trial periods to gauge performance, and reframing how essential job functions can be performed virtually.
Reassignment: The Accommodation of Last Resort:
- Agencies must consider reassignment to another vacant, funded position if the employee cannot be accommodated in his or her position of record. Attendees will learn what obligations an agency has to search for other positions, how the applicable geographical area is defined, and how to document these attempts and communicate with the employee about these attempts.
Establishing An Undue Hardship Defense:
- Agencies cannot simply assert that it would be an undue hardship to provide an employee with accommodation for a disability. Rather, there must be clearly documented analysis as to how the accommodation would impact agency operations. This session will cover the necessary elements to establish a claim that it would be an undue hardship to provide the requested accommodation that is defensible if the employee initiates an EEO complaint.
The Impact of COVID-19 On Employees With Disabilities and Reasonable Accommodation Requests:
- This session will focus on the latest EEOC guidance on COVID-19 and the federal workplace, including how direct threat is assessed in light of a declared pandemic, how employers must provide reasonable accommodation to those remaining in or returning to the workplace and to those employees whose disabilities may require additional accommodations to allow them to work from home, and what medical information must be kept confidential. The session will also include discussion as to how the landscape of arguing essential functions of an employee’s position and how these essential functions can and cannot be performed remotely has changed as a result of the pandemic.
Day 3 - Wednesday, February 24, 2021:
When Employers Can (And When They Need To) Request Medical Documentation:
- Not every request for accommodation requires medical documentation in order to respond, and agencies often run into issues by focusing on getting just one more letter from a medical care provider, when the agency has what it needs to respond on file. This session will cover when, and when not, to request medical documentation and how best to limit requests to avoid liability.
Requests for Medical Information at Different Stages of Employment:
- The types of medical information an employer can lawfully request and receive differs depending on the stage of employment: application-stage, conditional offer of employment, post-employment. This session will explain these different stages and how agencies can avoid making unlawful medical inquiries.
Confidentiality of Medical Information: What You Can and Can’t Reveal:
- A common pitfall agencies run into is improperly disclosing, whether with mal intent or not, information about an employee’s medical condition. This segment will discuss who has a need to know information, and best practices for communicating limitations while not disclosing underlying medical conditions.
Best Practices for Storing Medical Information:
- This section will cover how medical documentation must be kept in a specific manner and failure to do so can lead to monetary remedies to the employee, regardless of whether he or she has a disability under the Rehabilitation Act.
Appropriately Handling Employees Who Pose Direct Threats in the Workplace:
- This session will cover how to lawfully address concerns that an employee poses direct threats in the workplace, including ensuring that any medical inquiries are job-related and consistent with business necessity.
Day 4 - Thursday, February 25, 2021:
When An Employee Cannot Be Accommodated:
- Sometimes employees cannot perform the essential functions of their positions, even with accommodation, and the agency must consider removal from the position where reassignment is not an option. This segment will cover best practices for agencies in taking such actions such that they can be defended if challenged by the employee, and how to approach these situations with appropriate compassion.
Managing Performance and Conduct Issues with Employees with Disabilities:
- Managers often struggle with how to appropriately address performance and/or conduct issues with employees who have requested reasonable accommodation, or may even require accommodation that they have not requested. This session will discuss how best to supervise these employees, while not giving rise to a claim of retaliation.
Remedies Available to Successful Complainants Under Disability Claims:
- This session will discuss the remedies available to complainants who prevail on claims of disability discrimination, key information for any practitioner who assists agencies in responding to claims, or defending against them, to know. Discussion of how best to differentiate between claims that an agency caused a medical condition, versus created an exacerbation of a medical condition, will be included.
How to Establish a Good Faith Defense to a Claim of Failure to Accommodate:
- Employers can avoid being liable for claims of compensatory damages even if the employee establishes that the agency did not provide an accommodation, if the employer can demonstrate that it attempted in good faith to provide an accommodation. This session will cover what is needed in order to properly document and establish such a defense, including an overview of the applicable case law.
Latest Case Law on Disability Discrimination Cases:
- This segment will cover the latest decisions from the EEOC’s Office of Federal Operations and relevant Court of Appeals and District Court decisions that shape the developments in disability law.
Key Considerations in Preparing to Litigate and Litigation Claims of Disability Discrimination:
- This session will cover best practices in preparing to litigate and litigating claims that an agency failed to provide reasonable accommodation, including key information to request in discovery, including appropriate requests for medical records and claims for damages, how to conduct a deposition and question witnesses where disabilities are involved, and considering whether expert testimony is required.
*Each day includes a one-hour on-your-own lunch break.