A Clinician’s Viewpoint: Supporting ADA Compliance Efforts

Tasha Patterson@Work


Employers Can Leverage Clinicians to Support their ADA Compliance Efforts

By Jamie LaPaglia, RN, CCM

Implementation Manager & Clinical Educator
ODG an MCG Health Company

While compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is generally assigned to human resources (HR), employers can use the help of clinicians to build programs that facilitate ADA compliance.

The ADA went into effect in 1990, with major amendments effective January 2009 to expand the definition of disability. Title I of the ADA obligates employers to attempt to provide reasonable accommodations for employees with a qualified disability, unless accommodation presents an undue hardship. Clinicians can help employers create functional job descriptions that ensure a well-defined narrative of essential job functions along with associated physical, cognitive, and psychosocial demands; these are often lacking in traditional job summaries.

Applying this information, clinicians can be a valuable resource to help employers with key functions in the accommodation process. They can help employers coordinate with the employee’s treating providers to identify what functional abilities the employee has, along with what restrictions and limitations are necessary. Following that, clinicians can work with an employer to identify opportunities to modify the employee’s job or find alternative jobs that would be a good fit.

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