Your employee has had several unexcused absences in the last few months and is now being written up for their poor attendance. When you speak to the employee, they inform you that they have a disability and that occasionally they will miss work because of it. This is the first time you have heard anything in regards to this employee’s disability.

You walk your employee through the interactive process and eventually they turn in medical certification and are approved for a reasonable accommodation to miss up to two days of work each quarter related to their disability. You also move ahead with the write-up for their attendance problems prior to their disability becoming known to you.

The same employee then misses a couple of workdays due to reasons unrelated to their disability and is now demanding that you retroactively dismiss their original absences prior to disclosing their disability because they were “protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).” Are they right?

This sort of situation is not uncommon in the workplace. With all of the information immediately available at our fingertips, employees know a lot about laws and what sort of protections are available to them. However, it also means that sometimes they have been misinformed, or don’t fully understand how the law actually applies in reality.

In this case, this employee did not mention their disability prior to the absences and never requested a reasonable accommodation until after they had missed work and were being disciplined. Under the ADA, accommodations are prospectively applied, not retroactively. The EEOC Guidance on this subject states that “since reasonable accommodation is always prospective, an employer is not required to excuse past misconduct even if it is the result of the individual’s disability.” This means you are not legally required to excuse any performance issues or misconduct prior to a reasonable accommodation being requested. Essentially, it means that employees cannot use the ADA to excuse their previous behavior.

Of course, you need to be sure the disability or request was truly unknown before taking any sort of disciplinary action. A complicating factor in these situations can arise when an employee mentions a physical or mental impairment that is impacting their ability to perform their job, but their supervisor does not recognize this link as a potential ADA issue.

That being said, if an employee does bring up a disability during a disciplinary or performance improvement process, employers have an obligation to begin the interactive process. Had this employee mentioned their disability and possible need for an accommodation to their manager prior to their absences, those absences may have been protected under the ADA as a reasonable accommodation.

If you have questions about the ADA, or maybe need some training for your supervisors, just let us know. We’re happy to help.



Herb Pharm

With a mission to create the highest quality herbal extracts available, this southern Oregon company is committed to educating people on how to practice safe, effective herbalism. Did you know…

  1. In the 1970s, founders Ed Smith and Sara Katz searched store shelves for extracts made with high quality ingredients and a thoughtful process. They wanted purity and simplicity; herbs that were good for them and the world around them. They didn’t find what they were looking for, as the herbs and capsules they did find were pallid, aroma-less and seemingly stripped of their natural bounty. What they did discover was literature on how to create their own extracts through old, used books like the United States Pharmacopeia and the National Formulary. These books (some dating back to the 1850s) introduced them to ways of preparing herbs that they’d never heard of.
  2. Herb Pharm officially came to life in 1979 when Ed and Sara moved to a wooded community of herb-enthusiasts in southern Oregon’s Josephine County. By 1982, they were successfully extracting herbs they’d grown and harvested in a lab attached to their home. As their products became more and more popular, they turned their home into a hub for the maturing company, building an addition that housed the lab and using their dining room as the shipping department. Sara used their typewriter to create labels for each bottle.
  3. In the mid-1980s, Herb Pharm was in a position to hire a few employees, and in keeping with the company’s mission, they offered their new hires benefits as soon as possible. In the mid-1990s, the company built a large facility dedicated to extracting herbs and to accommodate the increasing demand for their herbal products, and now employs nearly 150 people.
  4. In time, Ed and Sara’s home and lab became a classroom where the couple could pass their knowledge down to future herbalists. This training and educational system would eventually become the Herbaculture Internship Program. To this day, the program is a powerful, residential, hands-on experience in herbalism. Many intern graduates have gone on to become herbalists in their own right.
  5. As the company grew, so did their responsibility. Ed and Sara became the leading, founding members of United Plant Savers, or UpS, a group dedicated to preserving the native herb population in the US. The organization changed the way the herb world thought about cultivation and wildcrafting.

Cascade is proud to feature this employer, committed to learning and teaching others how to ethically create high quality extracts the Herb Pharm way – a way that cares for every plant, animal and person in every ecosystem we touch.



Behind every great organization is a well-trained staff. Hundreds of employers rely on Cascade’s proven soft skills and compliance training to achieve performance improvement and personal success for their managers, supervisors, and employees.

Plan ahead for the entire year! We recommend early registration for these top programs:

Click on the flipbook above to read online, download the catalog as a pdf, or search all scheduled trainings at our Website.



Stocks, Forex And CFDs, Get The Best Of Solutions For All.

With some of the lowest unemployment rates in history, the job market is a highly competitive one. This competitive market can increase confidence among workers about changing jobs. With wages continuously increasing due to the tight labor market, it is imperative to ensure that companies are paying market competitively to retain and attract top talent.

Unsure what the current labor market looks like for your roles? Our professional compensation staff can help review data from multiple market survey data sources to ensure that your company is staying competitive. Cascade offers a wide range of Compensation Services that will help you stay competitive including a market competitive salary structure.

Recruiting, engaging, rewarding, and retaining the right employees are key compensation program goals for most organizations and Cascade can help!

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