EEOC Issues Guidance on Disabilities Affecting Millions

, The Legal Intelligencer

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In the United States, an estimated 34 million people have been diagnosed with cancer, epilepsy or diabetes, and more than 2 million have an intellectual disability. Unsurprisingly, most employers receive accommodation requests related to these medical conditions. On May 15, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released guidance in the form of revised "Questions and Answers" specifically addressing these medical conditions in the context of disability discrimination in the workplace. Although the guidance does not make new law, it clarifies the EEOC's position on what types of reasonable accommodations may be required for individuals with these disabilities and how employers should handle safety concerns related to the disabilities. Further, the guidance addresses the EEOC's position regarding obtaining, using and disclosing employee medical information. Employers should pay particular attention to the guidance, because it is referenced by EEOC staff when investigating charges of disability discrimination.

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