As an employer, it can be frustrating when employees violate company policies repeatedly. Sometimes, despite warnings and disciplinary actions, employees fail to change their behavior. In such cases, employers may consider using a „last chance agreement“ (LCA) as a way to give the employee one final opportunity to correct their behavior before facing termination.
However, LCAs are not without risk. They must comply with federal and state laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. Employers must ensure that LCAs do not violate the ADA or any other anti-discrimination laws.
Under the ADA, employers cannot discriminate against individuals with disabilities in employment decisions. If an employee with a disability violates company policies, the employer must consider whether the violation is related to the disability. If it is, the employer must engage in an interactive process with the employee to determine if a reasonable accommodation can be made to help the employee comply with the policy.
If an employer decides to use an LCA with an employee with a disability, the employer must ensure that the agreement does not violate the ADA. This means that the LCA must be carefully drafted to ensure that the employee`s disability is not a factor in the agreement. For example, an LCA that requires an employee with a disability to meet a certain quota or other performance standard without providing a reasonable accommodation may violate the ADA.
To avoid ADA violations, employers should involve the employee in the process of drafting the LCA, explain the reasons for the agreement, and make sure that any conditions of the agreement are related to the employee`s behavior and performance, rather than their disability. Additionally, employers should provide the employee with a copy of the LCA and allow them time to review and consider the terms before signing.
In conclusion, LCAs can be an effective tool for employers to give employees one last chance to correct their behavior before facing termination. However, employers must ensure that LCAs comply with federal and state laws, including the ADA. Consulting with legal counsel and involving the employee in the LCA process can help ensure compliance with the law and protect the employer from potential legal liability.