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Don't Go It Alone: The Value of Outsourcing ADAAA Support
The number of Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA)-related charges continues to increase year after year.1 Due to this fact, many employers are beginning to recognize the need for and value of outsourcing these services to help provide accommodations that are tailored to an employee’s specific needs.
Before, many saw outsourcing ADAAA services as another offering to vet and an additional cost coming out of their budget. But with constantly changing regulatory requirements and full workloads, many HR managers are now turning to their disability carriers to help address employees’ ADAAA-related stay-at-work and return-to-work needs. As ADAAA support becomes more of a priority, here are a few key points that illustrate the benefits of outsourcing these services:
Defer to the Experts and Manage Your Workload
It’s no secret that you have a full plate managing everything from benefits plans and employee financial wellness programs to payroll and recruitment efforts. In addition to these responsibilities, employee accommodation requests often fall on your already overloaded plate. And, as may be the case for most HR professionals, ADAAA and accommodations are not likely an area of expertise. Therefore, you may not know what resources are available or what equipment can help an employee’s specific situation.
But using a disability program, like Workplace Possibilities,SM can help alleviate this additional stressor.2 Some disability carriers provide consultants who can work directly with you and your employees to get the details that inform what accommodations options or support may be necessary. In addition, they also can help you develop an accommodations plan, and — with your approval — source equipment and coordinate installations. This approach can give you more time to focus on other responsibilities.
Remain Legally Compliant
When an employee accommodation need arises, it’s important to be prepared. Mishandling, delaying or refusing assistance could result in an employee-filed complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission — or worse — a lawsuit for failing to accommodate a disabled employee. Disability consultants know and understand how to address accommodation needs and provide tools to help you remain compliant to avoid these repercussions.
Engage a Neutral Perspective
It’s useful to have a neutral third party to work with an employee and their medical team to gather the health-related information necessary to inform accommodations, as an employee may be hesitant to discuss sensitive topics in the workplace. A recent survey conducted by The Standard found 37 percent of employees are uncomfortable discussing their health condition with their HR manager, while 54 percent are uncomfortable speaking about this topic with their direct supervisor.3
Allowing a disability consultant to manage this process can help ensure an employee has someone to talk to about their condition and that they receive accommodations tailored appropriately for their situation. These tailored accommodations can help reduce an employee’s symptoms and boost productivity.
As ADAAA compliance becomes increasingly important, using accommodations services can help you best meet employees’ needs in the workplace. Given your heavy workload and compliance changes, outsourcing ADAAA services can help you ensure your employees receive the tailored support they need to remain healthy, productive and happy at work.
1 Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) Charges (Charges filed with EEOC) (includes concurrent charges with Title VII, ADEA, EPA and GINA) FY 1997- FY 2017; U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, eeoc.gov/eeoc/statistics/enforcement/ada-charges.cfm
2 Employers using The Standard’s Workplace Possibilities program to assist them with ADAAA compliance remain solely responsible for such compliance. The Standard assumes no such responsibility.
3 Data based on a survey of 528 participants conducted in April 2017 by a third-party research firm hired by The Standard. standard.com/eforms/19911.pdf