The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that you not discriminate against people with disabilities and that you make reasonable accommodations for a disabled employee. However, the employee has to be capable of doing the “core functions” of a job. That may not be as cut and dried as you might think, as the City of Evanston, Illinois, found out.
Biago Stragapede worked for the City of Evanston for 14 years, when he had an accident at home (not work related) that resulted in him being out for 9 months. When he returned, the city’s doctor had concerns about the traumatic brain injury he suffered and sent him to a neurologist for an evaluation. The neurologist recommended a “work trial” to see if Stragepede could do his job. The city gave him a two-week trial and then he returned to work full time.
All of these things are fine. When someone has had a serious injury, you need a doctor to release them to work again and you’d be negligent if you didn’t. But, the problems started a couple of weeks later when Stragapede made some mistakes and needed some help at work.
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