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JAN Newsletter - January 2024

Timely Information and Resources

January 2024 Newsletter

Featuring the Recovery-Ready Workplace Toolkit

Read MoreJanuary 2024 Newsletter

Ask JAN!

Question
Our current policy is to terminate an employee who illegally uses drugs, but we would like to start giving employees with substance use disorders a chance to recover and maintain their job. At the same time, we want to protect our company and make sure the employee gets treatment. What approach might we take?
Answer
As an alternative to termination, employers can make a fair chance offer of continued employment (formerly referred to as last chance or firm choice agreement) that includes requirements such as screening, assessment, and treatment by a designated substance use professional or organization. In addition, the offer might include a return-to-work plan with requirements such as drug testing and ongoing treatment. For additional guidance, see Appendix 7 in the Recovery-Ready Workplace Toolkit.

Consultants' Corner

If an employee requests a flexible schedule to attend meetings following treatment for substance use disorder, an employer may be tempted to ask the employee to attend meetings before or after work rather than modifying the employee’s schedule. However, there may be a valid reason why an employee needs to attend meetings at a specific time, for example they might have established a support system or attend with their sponsor. When it’s possible to modify an employee’s schedule, why not consider it? If allowing flexibility in schedule or leave time would assist an employee and would not cause undue hardship to the employer, it may be a reasonable accommodation that must be considered. For more information, see Modified Schedules to Attend AA/NA Meetings.

Announcements

New JAN Training – ADA and Beyond Compliance Considerations: Medical Documentation

When an employer requests medical documentation pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), there is more to consider than just checking boxes off a list. Offering flexibility in the process by accepting alternative forms of medical information and documentation and focusing on functional limitations to support accommodation requests can help bridge the gap between what is technically allowable under the ADA and meeting the needs of employees with disabilities. This newly released JAN webcast includes information about what the ADA requires with respect to medical inquiries, analyzes common scenarios when employers request medical documentation, and offers beyond compliance strategies for employers to consider when navigating the ADA accommodation process.

View Medical Documentation Webcast

"I am DOL" Blog Posted

The "I Am DOL" Blog series features employees who work in a wide range of roles at the U.S. Department of Labor who share a passion for public service. The current Blog highlights Verlencia Somuah, a policy advisor in the Office of Disability Employment Policy who serves on a team that manages the Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN). Verlencia shares how having a vision disability has impacted her career choices and led to a role with ODEP where she helps influence policies and best practices to better include people with disabilities in the workforce.

Read the DOL Blog

Seeking ADA Training? Explore the 2024 DMEC FMLA/ADA Employer Compliance Conference Offerings

Learn the latest Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and ADA issues, compliance strategies, and procedural recommendations at the Disability Management Employer Coalition (DMEC) FMLA/ADA Employer Compliance Conference, March 25-28, 2024, in Dallas, TX.

Check out the DMEC Compliance Conference

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