Teleworking is a win-win for workers and employers.

By Bryan A. Chapman, Esquire

Teleworking is a growing trend. Technology is making it possible. COVID-19 is a major catalyst. And, Big Tech is leading the way.

In response to COVID-19, in early March 2020, major tech firms, such as, Twitter, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon and Google, were the first to allow their West Coast workers to work from home. Other employers, both private and public, followed the example of the major tech firms. Teleworking may have slowed the spread of COVID-19 in California’s Bay Area.

Despite pressure to reopen the economy, major tech firms have embraced teleworking for the time being. Social distancing and the health of their employees are major concern.

Mark Zuckerberg said half of Facebook’s 45,000 workers could be teleworking in the next 5 to 10 years. Twitter will allow its workers to permanently work from home. The tech industry’s acceptance of teleworking is likely to have a ripple effect in other industries.

Working from home will particularly benefit workers who have disabilities that could be exacerbated by COVID-19 exposure at the workplace. Older workers with underlying health conditions, such as, hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, etc., are especially vulnerable to COVID-19. For this group, a COVID-19 infection can be fatal.

Under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), disabled workers can request a reasonable accommodation and employers may be obligated to provide a reasonable accommodation, provided it does not cause an undue hardship. Teleworking is the ideal reasonable accommodation for many disabled workers.

Economically, employers who adopt teleworking could reduce their office related expenses. Meanwhile, workers who telecommute could eliminate the hassle and expense of traveling to work on a daily basis.

Law Office of Bryan A. Chapman

Contact:

Bryan A. Chapman, Esquire

(202) 508-1499

bchapman@baclaw.com

www.baclaw.com

Join Facebook group: I Need A Discrimination Lawyer

COVID-19: The ADA and Workers with Mental Disabilities.

By Bryan A. Chapman, Esquire

America is reopening as states and cities are lifting stay at home orders. Most people are eager to get back to work, but there is stress and anxiety over increased COVID-19 exposure. COVID-19 is causing a global mental health crisis.

Some workers suffer from a mental disability that will be exacerbated by returning to work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), workers with a mental disability may qualify for a reasonable accommodation.

The ADA applies to non-federal government workers who have a qualifying mental disability. Under the ADA, workers with a mental disability have the right to request a reasonable accommodation from their employer. The employer is legally obligated to provide a reasonable accommodation provided doing so does not cause an undue hardship for the employer. For instance, a worker whose mental disability is exacerbated by COVID-19 exposure at work might request telework as a reasonable accommodation. If telework is not an option, the employer may provide other reasonable accommodations, such as:

  1. temporary job restructuring of marginal job duties
  2. temporary transfers to a different position
  3. modifying a work schedule or shift assignments
  4. temporary changes to workload
  5. longer time to complete tasks
  6. flexible hours, later start time, more flexibility concerning attendance
  7. personal leave

Under the ADA, mental illness and disorders, such as, anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder are mental disabilities that could qualify for a reasonable accommodation.

Law Office of Bryan A. Chapman

Contact:

Bryan A. Chapman, Esquire

(202) 508-1499

bchapman@baclaw.com

www.baclaw.com

Join Facebook group: I Need A Discrimination Lawyer