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CLICK TO EDIT MASTER TITLE STYLE EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES LIABILITY WHEN BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD SCHOOLS Sharon K. Stull, J.D., SPHR-CA.

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Presentation on theme: "CLICK TO EDIT MASTER TITLE STYLE EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES LIABILITY WHEN BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD SCHOOLS Sharon K. Stull, J.D., SPHR-CA."— Presentation transcript:

1 CLICK TO EDIT MASTER TITLE STYLE EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES LIABILITY WHEN BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD SCHOOLS Sharon K. Stull, J.D., SPHR-CA

2 CLICK TO EDIT MASTER TITLE STYLE  What employment practices get us in trouble? Handling complaints Documentation Discrimination Harassment ADA / Interactive Process Retaliation WHAT GETS US IN TROUBLE?

3 CLICK TO EDIT MASTER TITLE STYLE  Legal Obligation? Taking all reasonable measures to prevent harassment or discrimination of any kind. o Training - everyone! o Recognizing harassment/discrimination/ADA Issues. o Dealing with issues before they become a “complaint” o Documenting that initial complaint o Reporting o Follow-through and follow-up HANDLING COMPLAINTS

4 CLICK TO EDIT MASTER TITLE STYLE  Why is it important to document?  What kinds of things should you be documenting?  How do you document that initial complaint? 5Ws + 1H DOCUMENTATION

5 CLICK TO EDIT MASTER TITLE STYLEFORMULA FOR DOCUMENTING  5Ws + 1H Who – who are the parties involved? What – what exactly happened? When – dates, times, how many times? Where – locations Witnesses – did anyone see or hear it; did you tell anyone about it? How did it make you feel?

6 CLICK TO EDIT MASTER TITLE STYLE DISCRIMINATION/HARASSMENT  What is discrimination? When someone is treated differently because of their protected class status  What kinds of discrimination exist?

7 CLICK TO EDIT MASTER TITLE STYLEDISCRIMINATION/HARASSMENT  Race/Color  National Origin  Ethnicity/Ancestry  Religion  Sex/Gender  Age  Sexual Harassment  Marital Status  Transgender Status  Veteran Status  Medical Condition  Whistleblower Status  Association With  Perception of  Retaliation  Disability

8 CLICK TO EDIT MASTER TITLE STYLE  The ADA is intended to enable disabled persons to compete in the workplace based on the same performance standards and requirements that employers expect of persons who are not disabled. VERY employee oriented – will try to find in favor of the employee. AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT

9 CLICK TO EDIT MASTER TITLE STYLEAMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT Passed in 1990 and makes it: “unlawful to discriminate in employment against a qualified individual with a disability.” Enforced by EEOC or DFEH

10 CLICK TO EDIT MASTER TITLE STYLE 1. A physical or mental impairment that substantially* limits one or more of the major life activities. * California – merely limits 2. A record of such impairment 3. Being regarded as having such impairment. DISABILITY

11 CLICK TO EDIT MASTER TITLE STYLE Functions such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing speaking, breathing, learning and working. MAJOR LIFE ACTIVITIES

12 CLICK TO EDIT MASTER TITLE STYLELIMITS Federal standard is “substantially limits” California standard is “merely limits” Federal law takes into consideration “mitigation.” California law does not.

13 CLICK TO EDIT MASTER TITLE STYLE “An individual with a disability who satisfies the requisite skill, experience, education and other job-related requirements of the employment position such individual holds or desires, and who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of such position.” 29 CFR Part 1630 QUALIFIED INDIVIDUAL

14 CLICK TO EDIT MASTER TITLE STYLE The fundamental job duties of the employment position. The reason the position exists is to perform that function. Limited number of employees available to perform that function Function highly specialized ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS

15 CLICK TO EDIT MASTER TITLE STYLE Is any change or adjustment to a job or work environment that permits a qualified applicant or employee with a disability to participate in the job application process, to perform the essential functions of the job or to enjoy benefits or privileges of employment equal to those enjoyed by employees without disabilities. REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION

16 CLICK TO EDIT MASTER TITLE STYLE  Providing or modifying equipment or devices  Job restructuring  Part-time or modified work schedules  Reassignment to a vacant position  Adjusting or modifying examinations, training materials or policies  Providing readers or interpreters  Making the workplace readily accessible to and usable by people with disabilities. ACCOMMODATIONS

17 CLICK TO EDIT MASTER TITLE STYLEUNDUE HARDSHIP An employer is required to provide a reasonable accommodation unless: it is an undue hardship or will incur significant difficulty or expense Most accommodations cost less than $200

18 CLICK TO EDIT MASTER TITLE STYLE An accommodation is needed: When an employee asks for one An employer must know that an applicant or employee needs a reasonable accommodation. Hidden vs. Apparent Disability WHEN …

19 CLICK TO EDIT MASTER TITLE STYLE Generally, it is the responsibility of the applicant or employee with a disability to inform the employer that an accommodation is needed. The request does not have to be in writing and no “magic language” is required DISABILITY NOT APPARENT

20 CLICK TO EDIT MASTER TITLE STYLEEMPLOYEE REQUESTS Courts have suggested in some cases that it is enough for the employee to say, “I want to keep working for you, do you have any suggestions?” A statement such as that will trigger the employer’s duty to find out if there is some job the employee can fill or if there is a reasonable accommodation

21 CLICK TO EDIT MASTER TITLE STYLE An informal, interactive discussion between the employer and the individual who needs accommodation after a request has been made. The employer and individual identify the limitations imposed by the disability and available accommodations that would overcome those limitations to enable the employee to perform the essential functions of the job. INTERACTIVE PROCESS

22 CLICK TO EDIT MASTER TITLE STYLEINTERACTIVE PROCESS 1.Cooperative process 2.Reasonable and good faith efforts on both sides. 3.Not necessary to just defer to the employee’s request. 4.Employer determines if the individual has a disability covered by ADA

23 CLICK TO EDIT MASTER TITLE STYLE 4.Employer makes an individualized determination, based on objective medical or other evidence, of whether a person with a disability poses a direct threat of harm to himself or herself or others, and if so, whether that threat can be removed by reasonable accommodation. 5.Document the entire process INTERACTIVE PROCESS

24 CLICK TO EDIT MASTER TITLE STYLE The Federal Privacy Act of 1974 forbids employers from revealing facts about an employee’s medical condition with the employee’s consent. HIPAA Be careful how you explain an accommodation. Be careful about passing around get well cards PRIVACY

25 CLICK TO EDIT MASTER TITLE STYLE  Recognize discrimination/harassment  Take all complaints seriously  Deal with it – immediately  Document  ADA claims – interactive process a must!  Questions Sharon K. Stull, J.D., SPHR-CA SUMMARY


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