Loading in 2 Seconds...
Loading in 2 Seconds...
LEGAL EXPOSURE REDUCTION County Supervisors’ Role and Responsibilities Under. ADA & FEHA For Purposes of Reasonable Accommodation Present by: Steve Morris, County Counsel Cathy Stein-Romo, Chief Executive Office, Risk Management Maryetta Hall, Department of Human Resources. 1. PURPOSE.
ADA & FEHA
For Purposes of Reasonable Accommodation
Steve Morris, County Counsel
Cathy Stein-Romo, Chief Executive Office, Risk Management
Maryetta Hall, Department of Human Resources
The County of Los Angeles has a population of over 10 million people receiving services from 37 County Departments with over 100,000 County employees.
This workshop was developed in response to a Board of Supervisors Directive. In the course of having to approve several very costly legal settlements, the Board determined that LACO supervisors would benefit from training in effective management techniques and their responsibilities as supervisors/managers under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).
Define supervisors’ role in reducing legal exposure in ADA/FEHA employment cases
Distinguish differences between the ADA and FEHA
Explain why ADA/FEHA litigation is on the rise
Discuss the factors driving costs of employment litigation
Explain the strategy to manage risk through proper documentation
Apply County policies and guidelines relating to disability management
Recognize the triggers for engaging in the interactive process
Define reasonable accommodation
Describe the important steps to the Interactive process meeting
Learn how to effectively document the interactive process
Utilize the resources available to assist supervisors in managing employees with disabilities
OVERVIEW OF TRAINING PROGRAM
Documentation is crucial to management of County workplace.
We call it “evidence” in court!
Complying with accommodation requirements in disabilities law (ADA/FEHA).
Performance management, including progressive discipline, when necessary.
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About ADA/FEHA Litigation*
*…..but were afraid to ask…..
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) for Federal ADA
Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) for State of California
ADA and FEHA
Both employer AND employee must interact in good faith.
ADA/FEHA Requirement of timely Interactive must never be delayed by the Workers’ Compensation process. They are two independent legal schemes.
Why are there so many ADA/FEHA lawsuits?
Why is ADA/FEHA litigation so expensive?
How Can the County win a jury trial?
Huge growth in ADA/FEHA cases: The Word is Out!
Fact intensive cases go to jury
Successful plaintiffs get attorney’s fees
Why Are There So Many Lawsuits?
ADA/FEHA cases are fact intensive
Long employment history may be involved
Cases are document driven: personnel files may be extensive
Complex Interaction with other Laws (FMLA, Workers’ Compensation)
E – Discovery
Personal liability of supervisors
Jurors tend to be employees, not employers
Employment law is complex
Things juries hate
The perils of E-mail
How can I ruin my
reputation and Cost the County money?
“We can’t let these cheating employees and their doctors get away with this”
Document the Interactive Process
All documents should tell a story
Be prompt – timeliness is critical
Be nice – “How can I help?”
Keep them on the job
Look for early resolution – Be proactive
How County Can Win a Jury Trial
A written record of events is the best evidence of what occurred, and the record can be requested for identification and disclosure in litigation. Documentation is most commonly used as evidence:
To tell the story of what occurred.
To document that a specific decision was made objectively, consistently and in accordance with all County policies.
To refresh the memory of a witness
To provide a trigger to follow-up by including a Plan of Action
To establish knowledge, notice, intent, and good-faith.
Helps keep ADA/FEHA separate from performance issues.
Employee has twice asked for and received an ergonomic chair. The employee is now missing a lot of work through unexpected absences and tardiness. When you try to address attendance, the employee says they need another chair and special lamp and keyboard. What do you do?