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Workplace RERC


State of the Science Conference
September 15-16, 2005

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A Framework for Providing Teleworking as a Reasonable Accommodation RERC on Workplace Accommodations

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Slides Index Slides 1-17 Slides 18-34

Slides On This Page

  1. Guiding Principle 1: Civil Rights Laws are Unique - 1.2: Balance & Compromise
  2. Guiding Principle 1: Civil Rights Laws are Unique
  3. Common Theme from Courts
  4. EEOC's Position
  5. EEOC's Position
  6. Guiding Principle 1: Civil Rights Laws are Unique
  7. Guiding Principle 2: Components for Change
  8. Guiding Principle 2: Components for Change
  9. Guiding Principle 2: Components for Change - 1.2: Awareness
  10. Guiding Principle 2: Components for Change
  11. Guiding Principle 2: Components for Change - 1.3: Skills
  12. Guiding Principle 2: Components for Change - 1.3a: Coordinated Approach
  13. Establish Standards for Accountability and Procedures for Ongoing Feedback between Employee and Supervisor
  14. Guiding Principle 2: Components for Change
  15. Guiding Principle 2: Components for Change
  16. RESOURCES
  17. Still Have Questions?

Slide 18 of 34

Guiding Principle 1: Civil Rights Laws are Unique - 1.2: Balance & Compromise

  • Know the law
  • Win-Win

  • Slide 19 of 34

    Guiding Principle 1: Civil Rights Laws are Unique

    1.3 Case-by-Case


    Slide 20 of 34

    Common Theme from Courts

    Courts differ regarding whether "work-at-home" is reasonable.

    Must be a fact-specific, case-by-case analysis of the essential functions of the employee's job to determine whether the employee's telecommuting request constitutes a reasonable accommodation.
    Speaker Notes:
    Because of this case-by-case approach, imperative that employers carefully analyze the essential functions of the jobs in question, and not make "knee jerk" decisions when deciding whether to grant or deny a request to telecommute. This approach is not only consistent with the case-by-case inquiry that the ADA requires, but is also consistent with the EEOC's guidelines regarding telecommuting as a potentially reasonable accommodation.


    Slide 21 of 34

    EEOC's Position

    Decision-making should be made on an individual, case-by-case basis between the employer and the employee
    Two questions:

    1. is the employee clearly unable to consistently perform the essential functions of his/her job without the option of telecommuting, and
    2. is the job conducive to a work-at-home environment?
    Source: Work At Home/Telework as a Reasonable Accommodation www.eeoc.gov/facts/telework.html


    Slide 22 of 34

    EEOC's Position

  • 1999: EEOC issues Enforcement Guidance: Reasonable Accommodation and Undue Hardship under the ADA www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/accommodation.html
  • 2003: EEOC publishes Work At Home/Telework
  • as a Reasonable Accommodation www.eeoc.gov/facts/telework.html

    Slide 23 of 34

    Guiding Principle 1: Civil Rights Laws are Unique

    1.4 Need a Context

    Speaker Notes:

  • “Reasonable” is vague without a specific person in a specific situation
  • Need to know essential functions of job: OK for 2 employees but not the other 2
  • Understand the specific workplace culture:

  • Slide 24 of 34

    Guiding Principle 2: Components for Change

    1.1 Values

    Speaker Notes:

  • Our decisions are based on our values
  • Begin with the end in mind (Stephen Covey): Do we really want to ensure that Jacob can work? OR are we more concerned re: why he can’t tolerate the cold?
  • Are we more concerned re: impromptu interactions? OR are we concerned that he do his job well AND that he be connected to more of those softer benefits (staff mtgs, strategic planning sessions, holiday gatherings)
  • Do we really embrace the belief that ALL people can work in the careers of their choice?

  • Slide 25 of 34

    Guiding Principle 2: Components for Change

    1.2 Awareness

    Speaker Notes:
    Need to be aware of issues in order to identify & address problems


    Slide 26 of 34

    Guiding Principle 2: Components for Change - 1.2: Awareness

  • Reach common understanding about varying perspectives
  • Both parties have responsibilities

  • Slide 27 of 34

    Guiding Principle 2: Components for Change