A chilling wind continues to blow through assisted living and skilled nursing facilities across the land. Settlements or suits involving Brookdale Senior Living Communities, Inc. and Baywood Home Care provide examples of the same errors being made by hundreds of facilities: local staff mismanage or ignore a request for reasonable accommodation and the subsequent interactive conversation because (1) they lack basic training, (2) they do not have an easy way to report requests for accommodation, and (3) corporate-level human resource professionals do not have an efficient way to be aware of illegal activity at the local level.
The wake-up call for today is that providing personal, on-demand training for local supervisors and those filling the human resource function at the local level is required by these EEOC actions and is easy to obtain!
According to the Baywood Home Care settlement, the company is required to provide ADA Title I training to its management personnel and employees involved in hiring, including reasonable accommodation, and the interactive process. The decree also requires Baywood Home Care to revise its performance evaluation criteria to hold managers and supervisors accountable for failing to report, take appropriate action, or engage in the interactive process with respect to disability discrimination complaints or requests for accommodation. And Baywood Home Care must report complaints of disability discrimination to the EEOC during the decree’s three-year term.
The Brookdale lawsuit, EEOC v. Brookdale Senior Living Communities, Inc., Civil Action No. 14-cv-02643-WYD-MEH, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, seeks reinstatement of an individual, back pay and benefits with pre-judgment interest, and monetary damages. The EEOC also seeks an injunction enjoining Brookdale from failing and/or refusing to engage in the interactive process or provide reasonable accommodations of disabilities, enjoining acts of retaliation, and requiring Brookdale to institute policies, programs, and practices to stop future violations of the ADA.
Meeting the two basic requirements of these suits and decrees is not difficult with the right tools. Training is critical. We offer two online, on-demand training programs, Reasonable Accommodation Training for Supervisors and Reasonable Accommodation Training for Human Resource Professionals. Both can quickly and effectively bring your staff up to speed on the essential elements of compliance.
Keep the process simple. Reasonable Accommodation Management Software (RAMS) is the online solution to receiving, tracking, and managing requests for accommodation. The entire process, including recording the on-going interactive conversation, is easily recorded at the local level. Human resource managers at the corporate level can monitor and respond to up-to-the-second activity on a private, secure dashboard. Imagine being responsible for reasonable accommodation activity at a company with more than 640 operating locations in 36 states; a daunting task on a good day. Then imagine having the ability to take the pulse of that activity, and to offer support where needed, with the click of a few buttons or a direct phone call. We’ve built the tools you need to retain well-trained staff while avoiding consent decrees!