Human Resources News & Insights

Do you have to accommodate ADD sufferers? Court says …

HR pros know they have to be open to accommodating individuals with disabilities under the ADA. But does the same apply to those with ADD or ADHD? 

According to a recent decision by the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD), a state agency with the power to resolve cases of discrimination, the answer appears to be “yes.”

‘Disability hurt performance’

Peter Joyce, Jr. filed a complaint with MCAD, claiming his employer, CSX Transportation, failed to give him an accommodation to help him use a computer device needed for his job. He claimed he had difficulty mastering the device because he suffers from ADD/ADHD.

Joyce requested additional training on the device, which was never provided. He was later disciplined for submitting a request for excessive overtime, which he claimed was necessary in order for him to complete tasks on the device given his disability.

He then filed the complaint.

The result? The MCAD ruled in favor of Joyce and awarded him nearly $225,000 in lost pay and $100,000 in emotional distress damages.

The case shows employers would be wise to enter the ADA’s interactive process and seek accommodations for employees whose performance is hampered by ADD or ADHD. And one such accommodation may need to be allowing the employee to work overtime to complete necessary tasks.

Cite: Joyce v. CSX Transportation, MCAD, 5/31/17.

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