Lawsuit Questions “Essential Functions” of Job


Discrimination Lawsuit Against Alliant Energy Questions “Essential Functions” of Job

Human Resources Journal

From the HumanResourcesJournal:

Image: Human Resources Journal

To prove that an employee has been discriminated based on a disability, a person must show a failure for providing reasonable accommodation. But that person must also show that he/she can perform essential functions of a job if reasonably accommodated.

These essential functions were the crux of a recent lawsuit from a woman who alleged that Alliant Energy Corporate Services violated the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act).

The woman was the Resource Coordinator at Alliant’s Distribution Dispatch Center (DDC) in Cedar Rapids, IA. Because DDC employees often handle emergency situations 24 hours a day, the Resource Coordinator is required to work a rotating shift.

The woman has Type I diabetes, relies on insulin and must test her blood sugar throughout the day. She also suffers from Peripheral Vascular Disease, which limits circulation to her legs and feet. She found working a rotating shift increasingly more difficult to manage due to her conditions.

She contacted the company’s HR about a possible accommodation. She submitted a form, completed by her physician, which recommended that she only work straight day shifts.

The request was denied, as the company stated that a rotating shift was an “essential function” because the position demanded 24-hour service. The HR rep suggested taking another position with a straight day shift, but the woman turned down three offers, as the positions necessitated walking, less pay or relocation.

To read the rest of the article–Discrimination Lawsuit Against Alliant Energy Questions “Essential Functions” of Jobat HumanResourcesJournal.com.

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