Healthcare providers have unique ADA challenges, EEOC finds

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Nursing home employees and other healthcare workers pose unique disability challenges for their employers because of "societal misperceptions" that healthcare providers be free from any physical or mental impairment, according to a new fact sheet from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The fact sheet focuses on the application of the Americans with Disabilities Act as it relates to job applicants and employees with occupational or non-occupational illness or injury in the healthcare industry, which includes nursing homes and other long-term care providers.

The fact that many facilities providing healthcare operate seven days a week, 24 hours per day and rely on shift work, presents unique disability issues for nursing homes and their employees, according to the EEOC. Also, the nature of work offers a special set of challenges. For example, a healthcare worker with a degenerative eye condition could be regarded as an individual with a disability because she is misperceived to be substantially limited in working with medical records, the EEOC said.

The document is available at http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/health_care_workers.html.