Merry Campbell, Chair of the Shulman Rogers Employment and Labor Law Practice, was quoted in the “Answers to Tough HR Questions” section of the November 16, 2016 issue of What’s Working in Human Resources.
ADA: Can we fire disabled worker over violent threats?
Q: If an employee with a mental disability threatens to hurt a co-worker, can we terminate him or must we first explore possible accommodations – per the ADA?
A: As with most things ADA, comments attributed to a mental disability must be analyzed on a case-by-case basis. But courts have ruled employers cannot be forced to accommodate a disability if it would create an unsafe work environment for others, says Meredith Campbell (firstname.lastname@example.org), co-chair, Employment and Labor Group at Shulman Rogers.
This is especially true when employees express thoughts on committing homicide or similar violent acts in the workplace.
But a merely rude or unpleasant employee whose behavior can be attributed to a disability may still be protected under the ADA, requiring the employer to engage in the interactive process and seek reasonable accommodations.
Read the November 16, 2016 issue of What’s Working in Human Resources here.
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