Leslie Neal-Boylan, PhD, APRN, CRRN, FAAN
& Michelle D. Miller, JD, MPH, RN
Purpose: The purpose of this legal case review and analysis was to determine what kinds of cases involving nurses with disabilities are typically brought to attorneys, which cases tend to be successful, and how and when a nurse with a disability should pursue legal action.
The review u sed the standard legal case analysis method to analyze legal cases that have been brought by registered nurses (RNs) with physical or sensory disabilities from 1995 to 2013. The cases span the period following the enactment of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 through the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008.
A nurse attorney reviewed the background material to find every case involving an RN with a disability, excluding those with mental health disabilities or substance abuse issues. Case analysis was conducted using standard legal case analysis procedures. Fifty-six cases were analyzed.
The cases were categorized into five types of legal claims: (a) disability discrimination (84%); (b) failure to accommodate (46%); (c) retaliation (12.5%); (d) association (3.6%); and (e) hostile work environment (7%). The cases were largely unsuccessful, particularly those brought under the ADA instead of the ADAAA.
The case analysis revealed that several cases brought by RNs with disabilities using the ADA might have been successful under the ADAAA. In addition, the case analysis has provided vital information for administrators, leaders, and clinical nurses regarding when a case is appropriate for legal action. These findings from this review will help nurses recognize when they are being treated in a discriminatory way in the workplace, what their legal rights and responsibilities are, and at what point they should pursue legal action.
This review has relevance to all RNs working in clinical and academic settings who may have a congenital or acquired physical or sensory disability.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has settled a disability discrimination lawsuit with Angel Medical Center, Inc. of Franklin, NC. The hospital was charged with violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by denying an employee an accommodation that would have allowed her to get cancer treatments while working full time. The hospital allegedly refused the accommodation request and then fired the nurse.
To learn more about the ADA and other laws that protect the rights of people with disabilities read “Disability.gov’s Guide to Disability Rights Laws.”
If you’ve ever seen the “Because” public service announcement from the Office of Disability Employment Policy, you’ve seen Kayla Woolridge swim. While filming the PSA, Kayla, who has spina bifida and uses a wheelchair, got to chatting with my staff about her career goals. Although still a few years out from college, Kayla has been thinking about becoming a neonatal intensive care unit nurse. When I heard this, I thought how great it would be if she does indeed pursue that path — because the nursing industry is going to need her.
An Ordinary, Extraordinary Day
OFCCP Final Rule to Improve Job Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities
OFCCP 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Final Rule Fact Sheet
Beginning Monday, March 24th, 2014, businesses that work with the Federal Government will be required to set goals to employ people with disabilities at a rate of 7 percent and in doing so, keep track of their progress. The new law permits companies to invite employees to self-disclose a disability, allowing the company to conduct an internal census. With this data, companies can ensure their recruiting and hiring practices do not inadvertently exclude qualified candidates with disabilities. Employee are not required to disclose a disability.
This rule change stems from an effort to combat chronic unemployment of people with disabilities. Most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that in 2012:
1) The unemployment rate for non-disabled Americans stood at 8 percent, but almost doubled to 15 percent for people with disabilities;
2) The workforce participation rate for non-disabled Americans was 31.6 percent, while 76.5 percent of people with disabilities in the same age group were out of the work force entirely;
3) Median household income for a person reporting a disability was $25,420, compared to $59,411 for someone without a disability“ These numbers remain unchanged over the past 40 years despite dramatic improvements in access to physical workplaces, technology, and policy,” says attorney David Newburger, co-director of Starkloff Disability Institute. “Many people with disabilities want to work but face barriers.” Read More...
Alexandra Wilson Pecci, for HealthLeaders Media , December 10, 2013
Although some nurse leaders cling to the rigid requirements of the profession, others are making accommodations for nurses in wheelchairs, sending a powerful message to patients in the process.
A "walking interview" is one of the questionable—to say the least—tactics that one prospective supervisor used during a nursing job interview with Marianne Haugh.
"I had one walking interview…to see if I could handle their huge unit," Haugh recalls, a note incredulity still present in her voice when she talks about it. Haugh was born with spina bifida, and although she can walk short distances, she relies primarily on a wheelchair to get around.
Walgreens actually prefers disabled employees because they're more efficient workers, explains a new report
BY THE MONITOR'S EDITORIAL BOARD
Walgreens and now a report by the National Governors Association show businesses can benefit by seeing disabled workers not as charity cases but employees with uncommon qualities that can enhance profits.
Few people noticed, but last week marked the 23rd anniversary of the 1990 passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. That landmark law is best known for mandating such conveniences as designated parking for people with disabilities, wheelchair ramps, and Braille on elevators. A whole generation has now benefited from it. But one thing has not changed very much for America’s 54 million disabled people: landing a job.
That may change with a report last week by the National Governors Association. It is called “A Better Bottom Line: Employing People with Disabilities.” Note the words “bottom line.” The report aims to help states support a trend in American business led by Walgreens. Since 2007, the drugstore chain has hired those with disabilities not out of magnanimous charity but for the competitive advantage in employing disabled workers.
The LEAD Center mission is to advance sustainable individual and systems level change that results in improved, competitive integrated employment and economic self- sufficiency outcomes for individuals across the spectrum of disability. The LEAD Center seeks effective partnerships in the public workforce system including state workforce agencies, state and local workforce boards, and representatives of other systems of service delivery and supports to youth and working age adults with disabilities.
Leslie Neal-Boylan, PhD, RN, CRRN, APRN, FNP-BC
- Provides solutions regarding professional issues faced by nurses with disabilities
- Helps nurse recruiters and administrators clarify and strengthen retention strategies
- Features the voices of nurses with disabilities, nurse leaders, recruitment specialists, and patients
- Buttressed by four research studies and written by the leading researcher in the field
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. Title I of the ADA covers employment by private employers with 15 or more employees as well as state and local government employers of the same size. Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act provides the same protections for federal employees and applicants for federal employment.
The ADA protects a qualified individual with a disability from disparate treatment or harassment based on disability, and also provides that, absent undue hardship, a qualified individual with a disability is entitled to reasonable accommodation to perform, or apply for, a job or to enjoy the benefits and privileges of employment. The ADA also includes rules regarding when, and to what extent, employers may seek medical information from applicants or employees. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces the employment provisions of the ADA. Most states also have their own laws prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of disability. Some of these laws may apply to smaller employers and provide protections in addition to those available under the ADA.
Health care is the largest industry in the American economy, and has a high incidence of occupational injury and illness. Though they are “committed to promoting health through treatment and care for the sick and injured, health care workers, ironically, confront perhaps a greater range of significant workplace hazards than workers in any other sector.” Health care jobs often involve potential exposure to airborne and bloodborne infectious disease, sharps injuries, and other dangers; many health care jobs can also be physically demanding and mentally stressful. Moreover, health care workers with occupational or non-occupational illness or injury may face unique challenges because of societal misperceptions that qualified health care providers must themselves be free from any physical or mental impairment.[5
Regardless of the fate of the Affordable Care Act, the United States will need 5.6 million new healthcare workers by 2020, according to a study.
The study, by researchers at Georgetown University’s Center on Education and Workforce, also found that 4.6 million of those new workers will need education beyond high school.
“In healthcare, there are really two labor markets — professional and support,” Anthony P. Carnevale, the report’s lead author and director of the Center on Education and Workforce, said in a news release. “Professional jobs demand postsecondary training and advanced degrees, while support jobs demand high school and some colleges.”
There is “minimal mobility” between the two, Carnevale said, “and the pay gap is enormous — the average professional worker makes 2.5 times as much as the average support worker.” Read More...
The U.S. Department of Labor is proposing a new rule that would require federal contractors and subcontractors to set a hiring goal of having 7 percent of their workforces be people with disabilities, among other requirements. The department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs invites public comment on this proposal, which was published in the December 9 edition of the Federal Register.
Here are a few of our current openings. Please contact us to discuss more career opportunities or visit us online at The Sea Glass Group Website.
Case Management - Tampa, FL
JOB SUMMARY: Responsible for conducting telephonic or face-to-face assessments for the identification, evaluation, coordination and management of Members’ needs, including physical health, behavioral health, social services and long term services and supports; develops the Member’s Individualized Service Plan to address those needs. Establishes relationships with referral sources and community resources, while maintaining strict member confidentiality and complying with all HIPAA requirements.
POSTED June 26, 2012
Expanding the Boundaries of Professional Search
Specializing in the Recruitment of College and Advanced Degreed Professionals with Evident and Non-Evident Disabilities
What is The Sea Glass Group?
The Sea Glass Group is a privately held professional search firm headquartered in Chicago, IL and serving corporate clients across the country. We specialize in the sourcing and recruitment of college and advanced degreed professionals with evident and non-evident disabilities for corporate clients. Our placements range from executive, management, and experienced professional, to career building leadership positions for recent college graduates.
Open Job Opportunities
See a summary of open job positions.
US Labor Department’s Office of Disability Employment Policy announces 2012 theme for National Disability Employment Awareness Month
US Labor Department’s Office of Disability Employment Policy announces 2012 theme for National Disability Employment Awareness Month
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy today announced the official theme for October's National Disability Employment Awareness Month: "A Strong Workforce is an Inclusive Workforce: What Can YOU Do?" The theme promotes the benefits of a diverse workforce that includes workers with disabilities, who represent a highly skilled talent pool.
Campaign for Disability Employment (CDE)
Press Release - May 18, 2012
National Disability Rights Network (NDNR)
WASHINGTON – In the first case of its kind, the U.S. District Court in Oregon validated the claim that people with disabilities have the right to work and receive employment-related services in integrated settings.
Donna Martinez May 19, 2012
And apparently the US District Court in Oregon is in agreement!
From NDRN: Breaking News
Yesterday, the U.S. District Court in Oregon issued a 16-page Opinion and Order in the case Lane v. Kiltzhaber, 3:12-cv-00138-ST. The Lane complaint claims that failure to provide supported employment services violates Title II of the ADA and the integration mandate. The Court granted the state defendants’ motion to dismiss the complaint, but without prejudice and with leave to amend, while directing the Plaintiffs how to correct the wording of the complaint. Most importantly, the Court determined that the plaintiffs have valid cognizable claims under Title II of the ADA and that the integration mandate applies to the provision of employment-related services.
A new report from the Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER) and the American Nurses Association (ANA) highlights the effectiveness of a turn-key, peer-to-peer financial education program that is helping nurses across the country take action towards a secure financial future.
Employers in the U.S. hospitality industry are often reluctant to hire people with disabilities because of preconceived notions that they cannot do the jobs and are more costly to employ than people without disabilities, according to University of New Hampshire researchers.
ODEP and NOND recognize the value of establishing a collaborative relationship to promote the employment of people with disabilities in the healthcare industry. ODEP and NOND hereby form an Alliance to conduct outreach, education and technical assistance activities that promote the recruitment, hiring, retention and advancement of individuals with disabilities, including veterans with disabilities, in the healthcare sector.
Beth Marks, NOND President, and ODEP Assistant Secretary Kathy Martinez, sign the Alliance agreement.
U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Disability Employment Policy Signs Alliance Agreement with National Organization of Nurses with Disabilities
ODEP News Release: [05/07/2012]
Contact Name: Bennett Gamble
Phone Number: (202) 693-4661
Release Number: 12-0889-NAT
Agreement supports increased hiring of individuals with disabilities in health care industry
WASHINGTON — Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathleen Martinez and National Organization of Nurses with Disabilities President Beth Marks have signed an alliance agreement during National Nurses Week to promote the employment of individuals with disabilities in the health care industry.
by Elisabeth Greenbaum Kasson
What are your options if you aspire to be a nurse and are disabled? What would you do if you were already working as a nurse and became disabled? Whether you are living with obvious disabilities such as limb differences or paralysis, or less visible ones such as a chronic illness, sensory impairment or post-traumatic stress disorder, there are few reasons that would prevent you from successfully completing a nursing program, or continuing your career. The field is diverse and there is a place for nearly everyone.
by Guest Blogger Paul Hippolitus, Director, Disabled Students’ Program, Equity & Inclusion, University of California, Berkeley
Watch a YouTube video of Paul Hippolitus discussing UC Berkeley’s ”Professional Development and Disability” course.
As a longtime advocate and professional working in support of the employment of people with disabilities, I was very excited to recently report for work at the University of California, Berkeley — to have the privilege of assisting the University’s students with disabilities with both their education and career ambitions. UC Berkeley has some of the “best and brightest” of our young people with disabilities, so helping them to achieve their career goals seemed to me to be the easiest assignment I would ever have.
Occupation and Industry Series: Accommodating Nurses with Disabilities
JAN's Occupation and Industry Series is designed to help employers determine effective accommodations for their employees with disabilities and comply with title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Each publication in the series addresses a specific occupation or industry and provides information about that occupation or industry, ADA issues, accommodation ideas, and resources for additional information.
Recruitment: Workers with Disabilities: Where Can Employers Find Qualified Applicants with Disabilities?
Comprehensive information for employers about recruiting and hiring qualified applicants with disabilities is available in the Recruitment and Retention section of Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) website.
By PEGGY KLAUS
New York Times
Published: February 4, 2012
MANY people know of Berkeley, Calif., as the birthplace, in the 1960’s, of the Free Speech Movement. Fewer people know that Berkeley also played a major role in the disability rights movement. It was here, also in the ’60s, that Ed Roberts — a student with quadriplegia — became an outspoken advocate of the cause.
People with disabilities are one of the most underrepresented voices in nursing. But like nurses of color, they have a lot to say about overcoming discrimination and barriers to take their rightful place in the profession.
Some people who dream of nursing careers are told they will never make it through nursing school. Some nurses who hear about a potential dream job are told they won't even be considered a candidate for the position. Some are even told they have no business pursuing or continuing a career in health care altogether.
Although many of these nurses are not members of racial or ethnic minority groups, they are still a minority within the nursing profession. They are nurses with disabilities.
Geriatric Nurse, Senior Day Health Program
While working as a nurse in today’s healthcare world can be stressful enough, nurses with disabilities can face additional on-the-job challenges, including colleagues who may not feel they are capable of doing the work and needing assistance in a job that often requires strength and stamina. However, by making some adjustments, nurses with disabilities can continue to practice their profession.
by Leora Heifetz
My name is Leora Heifetz and I have had a visual disability since birth. I work as a registered nurse (RN) on a labor and delivery unit in a level three hospital in the Chicago Metropolitan area and on a daily basis I am engaged in directly caring for patients. My job requires me to monitor women during labor and the delivery of their newborn baby. Upon delivery, I am involved with caring for both mother and child, until they are considered to be stable and are transferred to another unit in the hospital for the remainder of their stay.
Latest Q&A Fact Sheet Explains How Americans with Disabilities Act Applies to Employment in the Health Care Industry
WASHINGTON - Naomi C. Earp, Chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), today announced the issuance of a new question-and-answer (Q&A) fact sheet on the application of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to job applicants and employees in the health care industry. The new publication, part of a series of Q&A documents about specific disabilities in the workplace and specific industries, is available on the EEOC's web site at http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/health_care_workers.html.
U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao announced that "Americans with Disabilities: Ready for the Global Workforce" will be the official theme for October's National Disability Employment Awareness Month, which is celebrated nationwide.
"The 2006 theme — "Americans with Disabilities: Ready for the Global Workforce" — highlights the fact that workers with disabilities are an underutilized and ambitious group of Americans eager to pursue their career dreams," said Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. "This theme echoes the President"s New Freedom Initiative which has been out in front in recognizing the need to promote greater job opportunities for workers with disabilities."