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Vedder Thinking | News Blythe Lovinger Featured in Law360 Article, “What to Do When You Suspect a Worker May Be Mentally Ill”

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Labor & Employment Shareholder Blythe Lovinger was recently quoted in a Law360 article about the steps employers should take to make sure they are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and to keep their businesses running without ending up in legal hot water.

The article states that although many employers may mean well when asking an employee what they can do to help when there is a disruptive behavior in the workplace, “this can confer the protections of the ADA and be fodder for a suit if things go south.” Ms. Lovinger detailed the steps to take in this type of instance. “If there is a disciplinary or performance issue, the employer should first carefully document those facts, and then request the fitness-for-duty exam,” said Ms. Lovinger. This exam cannot be aimed at gleaning whether a worker is disabled, but a physician can ask disability-related questions if they are “job-related and consistent with business necessity.”

Ms. Lovinger continued, “This [exam] will help establish both the job relatedness and business necessity for the examination. In the event that the physician deems the employee fit for duty, the employer will still want to proceed to address the disciplinary or performance issue, which has now been documented.”

To read the article in full, please click here.