Medical condition of employee

We have a long-term employee who is having serious health issues. He works in one of our group homes (providing care to developmental disabled individuals). It is becoming very apparant that he is having difficulty performing the essesntial duties of his job. He works alone at night and is on oxygen full-time. Co-workers are stepping up and helping him out. He recently was unable to sit through a 2 hour in-service, he had to go lay down. We are NOT trying to get rid of him, however, he must be able to do his job. ANY advice would be greatly appreciated.


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  • Catherine_GrayCatherine Gray 8 Posts
    edited August 2015 PMVote Up1Vote Down
    Based on the information in your post, it appears that the employee is unable to perform the essential functions of his job because of a medical condition. If this is the case, the question is what can you do as an employer under these circumstances.

    As a general rule, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits an employer from asking an employee disability-related questions or requiring the employee to submit to a medical exam. There is, of course, an exception, which is when the inquiries are job related and consistent with business necessity. An employer satisfies this requirement if it has a reasonable belief that an employee may be unable to perform the essential functions of his job or poses a direct threat to his own safety or the safety of other employees. In order to be "reasonable", an employer’s belief must be based on objective, reliable information that rules out workplace rumors and assumptions based on symptoms or behavior. The EEOC has a Guidance addressing these issues.
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