When an employee returns to work after getting a kidney transplant, the ADA requires employers to reasonably accommodate them.
One employer didn’t even try to, and ended up in court.
Accommodation requests denied
Michael Fisher worked at Nissan North America when he needed a kidney transplant. He took time off to get the surgery. When Fisher’s leave was up, management told him he could only return to his position without restrictions.
Fisher returned to his job, but found it difficult to complete as he was still recovering from the surgery. He started having attendance issues, and Nissan wrote him up.
Fisher was open about his difficulties and requested several accommodations, including a transfer, extra bathroom breaks or a temporary part-time schedule. Nissan refused to grant any of his suggestions, and Fisher was fired for absenteeism.
He sued for disability discrimination, and the 6th Circuit ruled in Fisher’s favor.
The court said Nissan pressured Fisher to return before he recovered and refused to accommodate him. The company didn’t participate in the interactive process either, which is a violation of the ADA.
When a disabled employee has a reasonable accommodation request, it’s usually best to grant it.
Cite: Fisher v. Nissan North America, 2/27/20.
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