It is not unusual for employers to feel uncertain about how to handle certain situations. However, most in New Jersey understand that they need to follow the law when it comes to preventing discrimination and providing reasonable accommodations for disabled employees. This compliance can help workers as well as hopefully prevent lawsuits from coming against employers.
Small businesses need to comply with applicable laws just like larger corporations do. When it comes to ensuring that workers understand how a business will handle requests for accommodation, having information about how the company intends to follow the law and having examples of possible accommodations in an employee handbook could be beneficial. The handbook could also include contact information for departments or individuals that handle these requests.
It is also wise for employers to ensure that their management staff knows how to properly handle any requests and that they do so in a timely manner. If a request goes unaddressed for a considerable amount of time, a worker may feel as if it has been denied or ignored, which could lead to problems. Additionally, managers should keep any information regarding the worker’s disability, such as medical information included in the accommodation request, confidential.
Working to avoid misunderstandings and ensuring that information about requesting reasonable accommodations is accessible and clear could go a long way in ensuring that employers stay compliant with the law and allow workers to feel comfortable with their requests. Of course, even best efforts made by employers in New Jersey may not prevent complaints or even legal claims if a worker feels slighted. In the event that such a claim does come against a company, it is important for company owners to understand their defense options.