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Encore: Employees Reluctant to Return? Accommodations and Considerations During a Pandemic - On-Demand

Encore: Employees Reluctant to Return? Accommodations and Considerations During a Pandemic - On-Demand

Product Code: YHWA082521A

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Encore: Employees Reluctant to Return? Accommodations and Considerations During a Pandemic - On-Demand

Webinar now available On-Demand.

Program Length: 1 hour


WEBINAR SNAPSHOT: Discover how to evaluate reluctant workers’ refusals to return to work to determine whether an employee has a legally protected reason for not going back to work with this insightful webinar.



As the Delta variant continues to sweep across the nation, employers are faced with yet another challenge brought on by the pandemic: Employees’ refusal to return to work.

Employers faced with workers refusing to return to work due to COVID-19 need to evaluate each situation to determine whether a reluctant employee has a legally protected reason for not returning to the workplace. 

For example, an employee suffering from medically documented extreme anxiety or a medical condition that would qualify as a disability under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) would be entitled to a reasonable accommodation if the condition prevents them from doing the essential functions of their job.  There could be a range of possible accommodations, from adjusting work hours so as to minimize contact with coworkers, to telework, to additional unpaid leave.

Employers should also know that they are not required to provide an accommodation if it presents an "undue hardship"—one that presents a "significant difficulty or expense" for the employer. 

In order to decide what accommodation might be reasonable, or whether a requested accommodation would cause an “undue hardship,” employers must participate in the interactive process with the employee, as required by the ADA and other laws.

Join this webinar to discover the best strategies for implementing the ADA in your organization to accommodate employees, while also supporting your business during this challenging time. 

Karen Whitley will provide an overview of ADA-related issues, recent cases, current EEOC guidance, and what could be on the horizon over a year into the pandemic, as employees return to the workplace and as vaccines become more widely available.

At the conclusion of this program, participants will be able to:

  • Efficiently implement return-to-work plans in the workplace
  • Understand what qualifies as a disability and what does not
  • Develop additional strategies for making accommodations that work for unique working conditions
  • Appropriately identify needed accommodations and obtain more complete understanding of ADA and other laws

About Your Presenter

Karen WhitleyKaren Whitley, Esq.
Sheehan Phinney Bass & Green PA

Karen Whitley serves on the firm’s Management Committee as the ‘At Large’ member for Boston. She is also a member of the firm’s Labor & Employment and Litigation Practice Groups. She focuses her practice on management-side employment litigation and counseling, including discrimination, wage and hour, and restrictive covenant proceedings. She values working closely with HR professionals and in-house counsel to develop a practical business approach to thorny employment law issues.

Whitley advises employers on legal compliance in all phases of the employment relationship, conducts sensitive internal investigations, and provides proactive training to management and staff on cutting edge issues. She provides employment law advice arising in connection with mergers and acquisitions, and helps employers protect their proprietary data through the enforcement of restrictive covenants and other policies.

Whitley maintains an active practice before anti-discrimination agencies and trial courts on behalf of private employers in the banking, insurance, recruiting, education, hospitality, manufacturing, and pharmaceutical industries. She has been a trusted advisor to small start-up businesses, mid-size organizations, and multi-national companies to ensure adherence with numerous federal and state laws, including the FLSA, ADA, ACA, FMLA, WARN Act, COBRA and similar state laws.

Credit Information

HR Certification Institute HRCI
SHRM Preferred Provider

CREDIT INFORMATION: HRCI® (www.HRCI.org) official seal confirms that BLR®—Business & Learning Resources meets the criteria for preapproved recertification credit(s) for any of HRCI’s eight credentials, including SPHR® and PHR®.”

This program has been approved for 1 (HR (General)) recertification credit Approved Provider toward aPHR®, aPHRi™, PHR®, PHRca®, SPHR®, GPHR®, PHRi™ and SPHRi™ recertification through the HRCI.”
These credits expire 12/31/21.


BLR®—Business & Learning Resources is recognized by SHRM to offer SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP professional development credits (PDCs). This program is valid for (1) PDCs. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit shrmcertification.org.”
The on-demand credits expire 12/31/21.