Tuesday, March 06, 2007

EEOC Health Care Worker Guidance: A Dissenting View

See this piece criticizing the EEOC's new healthcare worker/ADA guidance. Is this shrill?

On Feb. 26, 2007, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued "Questions and Answers about Health Care Workers and the Americans with Disabilities Act." Revealing a significant bias against healthcare employers, the EEOC’s Q&A Fact Sheet takes an aggressive stance interpreting the ADA and its reasonable accommodations requirements, thereby signaling its intent to increase enforcement efforts in the healthcare industry. Why does the EEOC single out healthcare employers and what does it mean for your facility?

Healthcare is the largest industry in the American economy, employing more than 13 million individuals. Ironically, despite their focus on making people well, healthcare workers are nearly twice as likely to be injured in the workplace – and therefore potentially protected under the ADA – than workers in any other industry. At least one regional attorney for the EEOC diagnosed healthcare employers as having "special knowledge about disabilities that puts them in leadership roles among employers, and they should be especially sensitive to this."

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