No employer wants a knock on the door from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). It means an employee has filed a complaint of discrimination, harassment, retaliation or some other claim the employer acted illegally toward an employee. Specific to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), it means digging through documents, emails, spreadsheets, sticky notes and anything else (not allowed to be kept in a personnel file) to demonstrate the employer did not discriminate or retaliate against its worker when they requested an accommodation for their disability. In other words, it’s a nightmare.
In late 2021 when COVID vaccine exemption accommodations were pouring in and creating novel legal issues, CareValidate collaborated with its customers, from small to Fortune500, to manage thousands of requests. With employers anxious for employees to return to the office, our customer’s risk appetite varied. One California-based customer had a command from the C- suite—get everyone back to the office and vaccinated while following the law on accommodations. Done. CareValidate had software to manage the accommodations process and offered professional services through licensed attorneys and doctors to assist with the reviews.
Then it happened—an EEOC complaint was filed against our customer by an employee whose accommodation was denied. Similar claims were being made across the country. In the spirit of our close customer relationship, we put our heads together and got to work. Gathering the facts, documentation and research supporting the decision was easy, it was stored in the employee’s secure CareValidate profile.
The next task was writing a persuasive position statement to be filed by our customer with the EEOC in response to the complaint. We didn’t have to do this under our contract, we wanted to do it. I could not wait to advocate in favor of our customer whose efforts and relationship with CareValidate offered volumes of demonstrative evidence that they treated their employee fairly and did not discriminate. I tied the threads of the employer’s best practices and clear record secured by CareValidate to persuasive legal authority and made our customer’s case. I conferred with their grateful in-house counsel and they filed the statement. That was the end—the employer’s desired result.
In over 30 years as an attorney, drafting countless memoranda, contracts and briefs, this work represents one of my most fulfilling career moments. We had one EEOC complaint among thousands of accommodation requests and we knocked the stuffing out of it.
Need CareValidate to assist you with your accommodations process and staying compliant? Let us know here!