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JAN Newsletter - June 2024

Timely Information and Resources

JAN Newsletter - June 2024

Featuring JAN's Accommodation and Compliance Series: Migraine Headaches

Read MoreJAN Newsletter - June 2024

Ask JAN!

Several potential migraine triggers may be present in a workplace, such as lighting, noise, fragrances, or stressors. When the lighting in an office setting triggers an employee’s migraines, what are accommodation solutions?

Accommodation solutions can vary depending on the type of lighting and the work environment. Solutions to explore in an office setting may include:

  • Allowing telework so the employee may work in a setting where they can more easily control lighting.
  • Using floor-to-ceiling cubicle walls to block fluorescent light from reaching the employee's workstation. Other options to block out overhead lighting include an office with a door, a cubicle roof, or even a patio umbrella installed over the desk.
  • Installing filters in fluorescent light fixtures to reduce the negative effects of fluorescent lights. When appropriate, turning off overhead lights and using lamps may allow more control over lighting, especially for employees who need to work in dim light.
  • Using full-spectrum lighting to supplement natural light near the employee's workstation if the individual works better with natural or full-spectrum light. If the employee is sensitive to full-spectrum, natural, or UV light, consider other options.
  • Using alternative lighting such as incandescent or LED lighting for individuals who are sensitive to flickering lights.
  • Modifying a dress code to allow items to be worn that may be helpful in reducing the effects of fluorescent light, such as sunglasses or hats with brims.
  • Placing the employee near a window if they work better with natural light.
  • Moving the employee away from windows or installing appropriate window coverings if the employee needs more control over the light in their workspace or is sensitive to UV light.

Consultants' Corner

An employee has been missing a lot of work due to migraine headaches and has indicated that fragrances in the workplace are triggering the headaches. The employer implemented a voluntary fragrance policy but is not able to enforce a total fragrance ban. The employee cannot perform the job from home so telework is not an option in the current job. What else can be done? One solution JAN suggests employers consider is creating a fragrance-free zone, a smaller area of the workplace where a fragrance ban can be effectively implemented and enforced. This option may not work for every situation, but it may be worth exploring. For employers who are interested in exploring this solution, JAN offers the resource: Can’t Ban Fragrances? Consider a Fragrance-Free Zone.


Communication is Key to the Accommodation Process

To help determine effective accommodations, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), recommends that employers use an “interactive process,” which simply means that employers and employees with disabilities who request accommodations work together to come up with accommodation solutions. Consistent across every scenario, disability, and industry is the absolute importance of good communication during this process. When parties collaborate and ensure good communication among all parties involved in the accommodation process, it's more likely they’ll find solutions that benefit everyone. JAN’s resource, “Why Communication Is Key to the Accommodation Process,” offers practical tips for ensuring good communication during the accommodation process.

JAN Training On-Demand

Looking for training on workplace accommodation topics? The JAN Webcast Series Library offers past JAN webcasts that can be viewed on-demand. These webcasts may be used to train human resources personnel, people leaders, reasonable accommodation coordinators, employees, service providers, and others on relevant job accommodation and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance topics.

Follow JAN on Social Media for Essential Strategies and Solutions

Staying informed about strategies for providing effective job accommodation solutions is vital for creating inclusive workplaces. Following the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) on social media is an easy way to access practical and timely resources. JAN offers invaluable insights, practical ideas, and updates on best practices for accommodating employees with disabilities. JAN’s content on social media helps employers and individuals stay up-to-date with the latest trends and expert guidance on job accommodations. Find JAN on Facebook and LinkedIn, @JANatJAN on X, and JANInformation on YouTube.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month Theme Announced

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) recently announced the 2024 National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) theme. NDEAM takes place in October and is an annual celebration of the value and talent workers with disabilities add to America’s workplaces and economy. Watch the video from ODEP Assistant Secretary Taryn Williams where she reveals this year’s theme.

Incentives for Small Businesses to Hire Talent with Disabilities

In case you missed it, you can now watch the recording of the webinar “Local and State Disability Inclusion Incentives and Resources for Small Businesses” from the ODEP-funded Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN). The presentation educates small business owners about incentives—such as tax incentives or reimbursements for the cost of workplace accommodations—for hiring people with disabilities. Presentation slides from the May 2024 webinar are also available online.

Campaign for Disability Employment: What Can State Agencies Do?

For state agencies looking to engage in public education about disability employment, whether internally or externally, ODEP’s Campaign for Disability Employment (CDE) has tools that may prove especially useful. Download or print the CDE’s “A Step-by-Step Implementation Guide for State Agencies” to learn more about advancing disability-inclusive employment efforts in your state.

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