Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, managers have had to wrestle with the question of what to do when employees become disabled and can no longer perform their jobs as they had before. By law, managers are required to retain such employees if, with reasonable accommodations, they are able to perform their jobs' essential functions. But the written law leaves a number of issues in doubt, such as how managers should (1) determine whether an employee's impairment qualifies as a disability, (2) identify the job functions that are essential, and (3) decide how far to go when granting an accommodation. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued volumes of regulatory guidelines that deal with these questions. Only now, however, is a body of case law beginning to emerge. Because case law takes legal precedence over EEOC interpretations, managers must keep abreast of court decisions, especially when the courts' edicts conflict with those published by the EEOC. This article describes ADA case law in the form of answers to questions frequently posed by managers. It is based on a review of 44 ADA court cases dealing with wrongful termination claims, 4 of which were decided by the Supreme Court.
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