Cancer. Multiple Sclerosis. Diabetes. Arthritis. HIV. All are long-term and potentially disabling illnesses. Employees with these diseases have similar needs for health and life insurance, disability benefits and sometimes, workplace accommodations and leaves of absence.
Reasonable accommodations are meant to support employees who are able to perform their jobs safely and to performance standards, but who have some special needs. Often accommodations are needed so someone can continue to work or return to work after a period of disability.
HIV is often referred to as an “episodic disability”. That’s because periods of good health may be interrupted by periods of illness or disability. Often it is difficult to predict when these “episodes” of disability will occur or how long they will last.
People living with HIV may be well some days and not others. They may have reduced stamina and experience weakness. Medication regimens are demanding and may have unpleasant side effects.
Many accommodations are relatively simple. Others require more flexibility. However, accommodations allow valuable employees to remain at work and be productive. Reasonable accommodations do not place undue hardship on you as an employer. They may include:
- Time off to attend doctor’s appointments.
- Flexible work schedules or change of shifts that allow employees to adjust their workday or work week to accommodate their health or treatment needs.
- Reassignment to work that is less physically demanding.
- Opportunity to shift from full to part-time work.