The Monjaras and Wismeyer Group:

Facilitating the Interactive Process and Reasonable Accommodation for Companies with Qualified Employees

The past two decades has seen significant changes in the United States’ labor laws, as both federal and state governments passed laws that give persons with disabilities better opportunities to become valuable members of the workforce. California’s Assembly Bill AB 2222 requires to “engage in the interactive process” to assess the means of reasonable accommodation for qualified individuals with disabilities.

This is all in line with the federal Americans with Disability Act (ADA) and California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), which calls for employers to provide assistance to employees who have been hurt or injured, or become disabled. However the complexity of these laws may prevent businesses from complying with these requirements, which can then lead to legal repercussions that can affect the entire organization.

Under the ADA and FEHA, a disabled person is defined as an individual who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits major life activities, or has a record of such impairment, or is perceived as having such impairment. Both laws prohibit discrimination against any person with a record of a disability or who is regarded as disabled, with minor differences in terms of exemptions and mitigating measures.

For more than a decade, the Monjaras and Wismeyer Group has assisted employers across a wide range of industries deal with various disability compliance issues, such as CFRA, FMLA, AB 2222 and Return To Work Programs. Our premiere service assists employers in complying with the FEHA and ADA.

Although there are no specific policies or procedures that employers must follow when trying to accommodate an employee with a disability, developing formal protocols can significantly ease the process of providing reasonable accommodations to qualified employees. With formal policies and procedures to refer to supervisors, managers, and HR professionals are more likely to handle accommodation requests properly and consistently. Sharing these policies with employees can also help them know what to expect when requesting accommodations, and also helps them understand that other employees might be requesting and receiving accommodations. Having formal policies and procedures in place will also help employers document their efforts to comply with federal and state regulations for reasonable accommodation.

Our team of professionals can also serve as a neutral party in facilitating the interactive process to determine ADA and FEHA accommodation needs. By engaging in an interactive meeting between management and the company’s workers, we can help businesses develop fair policies that the keep with the spirit and intent of the law.

Contact us today to learn more about our full range of services.

 



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