Funding for accommodating injured workers

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The Workers Compensation Appeals Tribunal is however expanding the number of mental stress claims that fall within the “sudden and unexpected traumatic event” exception.If this trend continues then more and more employers will be obliged to re-employ mentally stressed employees to suitable positions (as opposed requiring these employees to prove they can perform the essential job duties of the pre-injury position).

The ADA violations most often alleged in these complaints during this time, have been wrongful discharge (52%) and failure to provide reasonable accommodation (28%).

Employers, human resource professionals, and labor union representatives need to be aware of the requirements of the ADA in order to respond appropriately to accommodation requests by workers with disabilities.

The employment provisions of the ADA became effective on July 26, 1992.

The areas which employers and workers should consider when trying to identify whether an issue for an injured worker is one that is relevant to coverage by the Americans with Disabilities Act are the following: whether the employee is one who is covered under the ADA, medical examination and medical inquiries under the ADA, confidentiality of medical records, and accommodation of injured workers.

Whether an injured worker is protected by the ADA will depend on whether or not the person meets the ADA definitions of "an individual with a disability" and "qualified individual with a disability." For purposes of the ADA, a person with a disability is one whose physical or mental impairment substantially limits one or more major life activities of that individual, or the person has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment.

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