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Doctor's Notes and Medical Accommodations under the ADA

Sep 06, 2023

Submission of a doctor's note does not mean the business automatically needs to grant an employee's request for a medical accommodation.

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employers with at least fifteen employees must provide a qualified employee with a reasonable accommodations so the employee can perform the essential functions of their job, unless an undue hardship exists.

An employee may submit a doctor's note to the employer stating the employee needs to work from home, or arrive to work at a different time. However, that may not be sufficient for purposes of the ADA.

Many doctor’s notes say the wrong thing, which results in the employee not receiving the accommodation, or receiving a different accommodation- one that that can’t help them.

Things like an indefinite leave of absence or failure to identify how the accommodation will help the employee do his job in light of the restrictions are typically not helpful and can cause a denial.

When evaluating a request for an accommodation, businesses should consult with an employment lawyer so he/she can help guide the company on compliance with the law.

Karly Wannos, Esq., of the Wannos Law Firm, PA is an employment attorney in Florida. She helps companies comply with the employment laws through legal guidance, customized workshops and trainings and preparation of legal documents and employee handbooks.

Connect with Karly Wannos at The Wannos Law Firm, Instagram and Linkedin and on The Employment Experience Podcast.



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