The future of otolaryngology is in your hands
As practice managers, administrators, coders and more, you are constantly challenged to promote the best in otolaryngology medicine across your region and across the country while simultaneously running a successful business. The Association of Otolaryngology Administrators is your partner to help make that happen.
The AOA is the only association dedicated to otolaryngology practice management. Our specialty-specific education, resources and networking opportunities will help take your practice to the next level and remain competitive in an uncertain time of healthcare.
05/12/2017: CAN I ASK AN EMPLOYEE ABOUT A MEDICAL CONDITION?
If you notice strange behavior, performance issues, fatigue, irritability, etc. - even subtle changes - you might want to privately ask your employee if something is going on that you should know about. But you may feel constrained, believing you can’t legally inquire. Failing performance is not something you can ignore just because you have a fear that it might be a disability that you’ll have to accommodate.
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), an employer may inquire about whether a medical condition exists that is affecting his or her ability to perform the essential functions of his or her job. You may also inquire about medical problems if you have received reliable information from a third party such as a family member. Try these words: “Is there anything that I should know about that might be affecting your performance? Recently, I’ve noticed X…” Mention performance specifics. If the employee mentions a disability, even if she or he doesn’t use that word, you are required to take proper steps and make accommodations if needed. Document everything.
Two important comments: You can NOT tell other employees that an employee is being given an accommodation, as this will inform them that the employee has a disability. (The employee can tell; you can NOT.) And, as an employer, you are not required to accommodate every disability. If the condition puts the safety, health or performance of the employee at risk or if the condition’s accommodation “creates undue hardship on the employer,” you have options. Seek legal advice before taking action that affects that employee’s work status.