Imagine this scenario – you have a disability, and your management chain has just agreed to provide you a modified work schedule or modified work duties in order to accommodate that disability.
Your co-workers start to become curious why you’re not at work when they are, or you’re not doing the same tasks that they are. They approach your manager to ask why you are getting preferential treatment. Can your manager tell them you have a disability?
According to the EEOC — No:
“An employer may not disclose that an employee is receiving a reasonable accommodation because this usually amounts to a disclosure that the individual has a disability. The ADA specifically prohibits the disclosure of medical information except in certain limited situations, which do not include disclosure to coworkers.”
>In fact, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) only three groups of people may be told about your disability and reasonable accommodation:
Supervisors and managers may be told about necessary restrictions on the work or duties of the employee and about necessary accommodations;
First aid and safety personnel may be told if the disability might require emergency treatment;
Government officials investigating compliance with the ADA must be given relevant information on request.
If your supervisors or managers are telling other employees that you are disabled and that you have received a reasonable accommodation, and you have not expressly allowed them to do this, they may be in violation of the ADA.
If you are a federal employee, and you believe your manager is discriminating against you because of your disability or has refused to give you a reasonable accommodation, the best course of action is to consult with a federal employee lawyer who has knowledge and experience in the special procedures that apply to federal employees.
The Law Offices of Eric L. Pines, PLLC represents federal employees in their claims that their management chain has violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).