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Be Kind. Provide Reasonable Accommodations to Your Employees

Aside from good karma points, you will also avoid troubles with EEOC. In the recent case EEOC v. Dollar General an employee with diabetes asked to keep a bottle of juice by her register in case she needs it to control her blood sugar. The request was denied, and ultimately, employee was fired for drinking some juice from the store cooler before paying for it. A quarter of a million dollars (compensatory damages) was an expensive price to pay for a karma lesson.

Whenever an accommodation is requested consider running through this checklist with your HR (bonus points for documenting the process):

  • Determine how the accommodation request actually affects the employee’s ability to perform the job duties, and how it affects your business process;

  • Continuously communicate with the employee about the requested accommodation and possible alternatives;

  • If you deny an accommodation, make sure you thoroughly explored and documented reasons on why the accommodation cannot be made; and

  • Think twice before terminating an employee for a policy infraction due to a medical emergency.



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