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David C. Henderson publishes “Shifting Focus Of Reasonable Accommodation Analysis” in Employment Law360’s “Expert Analysis” section

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David C. Henderson, a member of the firm’s Labor, Employment and Benefits practice group, published “Shifting Focus Of Reasonable Accommodation Analysis” in Employment Law360 on July 27. The article discusses the new federal regulations that took effect on May 24, 2011 requiring employers with 15 or more employees to implement the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA). The new regulations and the slightly older statute expand the circumstances in which an employer must provide reasonable accommodation for an employee’s physical or mental condition.

David notes the new rules create unique challenges for managers and employers, the most obvious change being the expansion of the concept of “disability” to include virtually all mental and physical impairments. The result is that many more employees will be entitled to special protections, and cases will now rise and fall primarily on the question of whether an employer made every effort to determine and, if appropriate, provide an accommodation, not on the issue of whether a disability exists. The article provides a step-by-step methodology which will be useful when explaining to an employer how he should respond to an employee’s impairment.

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