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OSHA and the ADA: How Two Labor Laws Align and Diverge

  • Tuesday, December 4, 2018 / 1:00 PM 2:15 PM

OSHA guidance states that “if an employee can perform their job functions in a manner which does not pose a safety hazard to themselves or others, the fact they have a disability is irrelevant.”  Although OSHA portrays this policy as straightforward, in practice, it can be difficult to determine when and how to accommodate a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act, while also protecting the safety of the disabled employee and his or her co-workers.  This assessment can be further complicated when the employer is unaware a disability may cause or contribute to a workplace safety issue.  The importance of understanding the laws at play in this context has increased, and will continue to increase significantly, due to the aging workforce, and the unique challenges these types of workers may face.

The ADA also requires that medical information related to a disability be kept confidential, yet OSHA mandates certain information be provided when recording injuries and illnesses for OSHA Recordkeeping.  A disability may also impact whether and how an injury is recorded.  Likewise, both the ADA and OSHA regulations impact an employer’s ability to drug test employees and what it can do with information from a drug test.  Therefore, it is critical for employers to understand the intersection between the ADA and OSHA.

During this webinar, participants will learn:

  • Requirements related to ADA disability accommodation, and how to evaluate an accommodation in the context of legitimate safety concerns

  • How to address unsafe conditions or performance related to an employee disability

  • Best practices to foster safety in the context of an aging workforce

  • ADA and OSHA compliant responses to suspected employee drug or alcohol use

  • Injury and illness recordkeeping practices related to employee disabilities

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