Is providing a job coach a reasonable accommodation? The EEOC seems to think so. In a recent lawsuit, Target Corp. didn’t consider a job coach as a workplace support for an employee with a disability (cerebral palsy) who wanted to be successful as a cart attendant. As a result, they will pay the former employee $160,000 and develop policies to respond to the needs of its employees with disabilities. A job coach is the same thing as an employment specialist, job trainer, job consultant, or a staffing specialist who can provide a variety of workplace supports such as helping an employee learn the job duties and industry standard to assist in building proficiency. For some people with significant disabilities, a job coach may be the answer to successful employment. Rather than explore this workplace support, Target Corp. reduced the employee’s work hours after he went on medical leave due to a seizure. EEOC regulations & guidelines don’t provide an exhaustive list of reasonable accommodations that employers are required to provide as workplace supports for its workforce with disabilities. And, employers are not expected to know every accommodation that is possible. However, employers are expected to consult with a team of people who can explore the best way to provide assistance that will enable the worker to do the job. Contact Springboard Consulting to learn more about best practices in developing policies that will help reduce an employer’s risk of acting in a discriminatory manner.
This information should not be construed as “legal advice” for a particular set of facts or circumstances. It is intended only to be a practical guide for participants familiar with this subject. Users should seek appropriate legal advice tailored to address their specific situation.