Unsatisfactory Performance Excused by Disability?
Question: Is an employee who reports a reading/writing disability covered under a protected class? Are there suggestions on how to handle if this employee reported this after receiving a written reminder for performance related issues when no prior notice had been provided to HR either verbally or in writing. The employee in this instance has been employed by the company for 8 years.
Response: The federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) generally defines a disability as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. An individual can also be considered to have a disability if he or she has a record of such an impairment or is regarded as having such an impairment by the employer. That said, the ADA does not contain a list of medical conditions that constitute disabilities, rather an individualized assessment must be undertaken (using the foregoing definition) to determine if one exists. This means that some people with learning disabilities may indeed have a disability under the ADA, while some may not. Without additional information, it is difficult to opine whether the subject employee is disabled within the meaning of the Act. We recommend that you review the information published at http://askjan.org/media/LD.html for more information as to whether the employee in question is disabled by the ADA.
Whether the employee is protected by the ADA as having a disability or not, however, the employer is not required to excuse unsatisfactory performance on account of the condition. Indeed the EEOC has expressly stated that "[a]n employee with a disability must meet the same production standards, whether quantitative or qualitative, as a non-disabled employee in the same job. Lowering or changing a production standard because an employee cannot meet it due to a disability is not considered a reasonable accommodation. However, a reasonable accommodation may be required to assist an employee in meeting a specific production standard." See question 1 at https://www.eeoc.gov/facts/performance-conduct.html#perf. The EEOC also offers guidance as to the particular issue raised by your inquiry at question 4 at the aforementioned link as follows:
"4. If an employer gives a lower performance rating to an employee and the employee responds by revealing she has a disability that is causing the performance problem, may the employer still give the lower rating? Yes. The rating reflects the employee’s performance regardless of what role, if any, disability may have played. Practical Guidance: If an employee states that his/her disability is the cause of the performance problem, the employer could follow up by making clear what level of performance is required and asking why the employee believes the disability is affecting performance. If the employee does not ask for an accommodation (the obligation generally rests with the employee to ask), the employer may ask whether there is an accommodation that may help raise the employee’s performance level."
Thus, while the employer would be obligated to explore and, if necessary, provide a reasonable accommodation to the employee if the employee's recently-disclosed learning disability is a disability for ADA purposes (and you are entitled to ask the employee to support the existence of a disability with medical documentation), the accommodation does not have to include lowering performance standards or excusing or failing to discipline performance deficiencies. For more information, see question 6 at the link above as well as the guidance published on reasonable accommodation at https://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/accommodation.html.
© 2014 Advisors Law Group, All Rights Reserved
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SCM Group Invites You to IWF
Attendees will enjoy an interactive exhibition space with over 14,000 square feet dedicated to the group's lean manufacturing technology and advanced integrated solutions. Strong Reasons Why and Lean Manufacturing will be the driving concepts behind SCM Group’s strong values, which translate into tangible benefits for our customers.
SCM Group will be showcasing more innovative technology per square foot than any other exhibitor at IWF 2016. You don't want to miss our impressive arrangement of new technology making its first debut. Featured equipment will include new edgebanders with our patented AirFusion, PU Box L (PUR Glue system) and the SGP Glue Pot as well new CNC machining centers designed for boring, routing and edging. Also on display will be SCM’s Flexible Panel Processing Cell that will be demonstrating flexible panel inventory management coupled with labeling and loading a nesting and sawing machine.... and much more!
Daily LEAN Manufacturing Automation Demonstrations
SCM Group's LEAN Cabinet Manufacturing Cell will be demonstrating Nesting coupled with a Kawasaki Robot tending an Edgebander and CNC doweling machine. Parts will be produced for Cabinet Assembly in a CPC Through Feed Case Clamp. The cell will be producing cabinets - one base and one wall - which SCM will donate to Habitat for Humanity. SCM and EdgeAutomation have designed the cell to show the viability of robotic installations in small to medium size shops.
SCM’s subject matter experts will share their industry knowledge and demonstrate:
• Automated Flexible Production: How to produce 60 – 80 cabinets per shift
• Low Labor Cost: How to operate with a maximum of two operators
• High ROI: How to achieve less than 24 months payback
Meet and Greet with Tommy Mac
Join us for a Meet and Greet with Tommy MacDonald, host of the Emmy nominated series,
Rough Cut Woodworking with Tommy Mac
Thursday, August 25
- 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
- 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Plus, enter for a chance to win an all-expense paid trip to view a live recording of the show.
Take advantage of our IWF special!
Get Pre-Approved and benefit from:
- NO PAYMENTS UNTIL 2017*
- $500 documentation fee waived
- Terms from 24 - 60 months
- Up to $250K application (no financial statements required)
- Offer valid on all new and used equipment
Winstore Gives You a Return On Your Investment Within 1 Year
The market demands a change in manufacturing processes that enables companies to accept the largest possible number of orders. This is coupled with the need to maintain high quality standards and high productivity for products manufactured with a large number of variants, with quick and defined delivery times. Biesse responds with the high-tech RBO Winstore automated magazine for the optimized management of panels for large contract manufacturers, which guarantees production with reduced times and costs. The Winstore at IWF will be integrated into a nested based routing and beam saw cell with a significant increase in productivity. Thanks to the proximity and availability of the panels, it is possible to substantially increase cell productivity compared to manual loading methods using a forklift truck.
Return on investment within 1 year!
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For more information about the contest and to submit your entry, visit
The Architectural Woodwork Institute and the Stairbuilders and Manufacturers Association Sign Standards Development Agreement
A formal Contributing Association Agreement between the Stairbuilders and Manufacturers Association (SMA) and the Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI) was executed on June 24th in Spartanburg, SC at the first stop on the SMA's National Workshop Tour. Steve Guenzel, SMA President and Greg Lutz, AWI President signed the agreement that spells out the cooperation between the two organizations in the development of the new AWI/ANSI Standard for Architectural Woodwork.
Steve Guenzel, SMA President stated, "We are very pleased to be invited by AWI to provide valued input regarding stairway, handrail, and guard construction. Although this is but a small part of the realm of architectural woodwork that will be covered in the AWI/ANSI standard, stairbuilding is a specialized field in which our members are experts. Being asked to participate by the AWI recognizes the value of our expertise as peers in a much larger industry. We look forward to the best practices of the stair industry being vetted through the ANSI consensus process and the resulting level of acceptance ANSI Accreditation will bring to our niche industry".
AWI President Greg Lutz noted, "The signing of our agreement with SMA marks the beginning of an era of mutual cooperation between many industry stakeholders working for and in the best interest of our entire industry. We are proud of our affiliation with SMA and promise that our combined efforts will surpass any prior architectural woodwork standards to date. AWI's collaboration and combined efforts with many different subject experts allows our new industry standard to embody the wisdom and experience that can be found nowhere else."
Expert volunteers from SMA will author a draft ANSI/AWI/SMA Stair and Railing Section for the industry's next generation of architectural woodwork standards, which is one of many sections to be compiled under AWI's authority as an ANSI Standard Development Organization (SDO). Under the agreement, both associations will use the American National Standard Institute and AWI's approved standard writing Procedures for creating the first voluntary industry consensus standard. AWI is working to involve other stakeholders in the architectural woodwork industry in the ANSI consensus process to provide an accredited definitive standard of quality for Architectural Woodwork.
For more information about AWI's next generation of architectural woodwork standards and to find out how you can collaborate and participate in the AWI's new standards writing process, contact AWI Technical Services Manager, Ashley Goodin at email@example.com
The Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI) is a nonprofit trade association founded in 1953. Today, AWI represents nearly 4,000 members consisting of architectural woodworkers, suppliers, design professionals and students from around the world. AWI's mission is "To be the global leader in architectural woodwork standards, industry-specific education and member networking opportunities."
The SMA is an active network of Stairbuilders, Stair Part Manufacturers, Distributors and Dealers. Ancillary companies that provide services and/or products in support of the industry, as well as design and regulatory professionals are also members. Each member's value contributes to the comprehensive expertise of the association. Formed in 1988, its mission is "To be the Greatest Resource of Knowledge and Tools Contributing to the Success of our Members and Industry"
Stream A with AirForce System and Winner W4 – Seamless integration of flexible edgebanding!
Biesse’s Stream A is an industrial edgebanding machine designed to create a new standard in automatic edgebanding. An innovative, modern, ergonomic design is combined with productivity, efficiency and flexibility for the application of all types of edge-banding material. At IWF, we will be demonstrating the Stream A equipped with the award winning AirForce System developed by Biesse that now allows companies of all sizes access to the green benefits of the top invisible glue line quality given by laser edges without the need of a complex and expensive laser system. AirForce emits very forceful, very hot compressed air through a slot nozzle directly onto the reactive layer of commonly available laser banding to active that layer and bond the banding to the substrate.
In addition, the Stream A has been integrated with Biesse’s Winner W4, fully automated system for returning and unloading parts, delivering a perfect combination of efficiency and simplicity! The W4 can be seamlessly integrated with a wide range of Biesse single sided edgebanders allowing one operator to control an entire edgebanding line with return and stacking capabilities. The system rotates, unloads and stacks the panels at the end of each machining cycles and with its’ size measuring sensors, also has the ability to create stacks of different sized panels and check their stability. This translates into a 25% increase in production and a reduction in labor cost. Visit our booth #7153 at IWF for a demonstration on this new innovative technology.
Website link: http://www.biesse.com/na/biesse_at_iwf_2016
Video link: https://youtu.be/VVj9xDl4TwM
We are proud to be celebrating our 2nd year as an CMA member. On your next order with us, we are happy to offer $10 off your next order. Just use coupon code CMA.
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P.S. We have a wonderful tool for you to use if you haven’t already received it. It’s our 12 page Pricing Booklet. Call 800-426-6018 or email to request your copy today!
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