Accomodating light sensitive employee

The normally unnoticeable 50–60 Hz flicker from fluorescent tubes powered by electromagnetic ballasts are associated with headaches and eyestrain.

Individuals with high flicker fusion threshold are particularly affected by electromagnetic ballasts: their EEG alpha waves are markedly attenuated and they perform office tasks with greater speed and decreased accuracy.

Ordinary people have better reading performance using frequency (50Hz – 60 Hz) electromagnetic ballasts than electronic ballasts, although the effect was large only for the case of luminance contrast. The Health Protection Agency of the United Kingdom has conducted research concluding that exposure to open (single envelope) compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) for over 1 hour per day at a distance of less than 30 cm can exceed guideline levels as recommended by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).

Accommodations should be made on a case by case basis, considering each employee’s individual limitations and accommodation needs.

Employers are encouraged to contact JAN to discuss specific situations in more detail.

For example, a Michigan court determined that an employee for the City of Detroit, with an allergy to certain air-fresheners and perfumes, could proceed with her ADA claim, because, according to the court, her disability substantially limited the major life activity of breathing.

The employee was awarded 0,000 and attorneys fees.

Lander noted that other accommodation options may include: But like Fram, Lander noted that sometimes there is no reasonable accommodation, such as with a worker in a retail or food services environment that caters to the public.

Refusals to Comply One of the biggest hurdles to accommodating employees with fragrant sensitivities can be co-workers who simply won’t stop wearing fragrances.“Requiring that an entire department or work area refrain from wearing any scents can lead to people refusing to comply,” Perez noted.

Although perfumes and colognes are generally what come to mind when discussing fragrance sensitivity, fragrance is often added to a variety of daily use items including but not limited to toiletries, cosmetics, air fresheners, cleaning products, and pesticides.

Materials used in fragrance are not required to be disclosed on labels, which can make it difficult to identify the ingredient or product that is responsible for the sensitivity ("Fragranced Products," 2009).

With allergies and odor sensitivities on the rise and affecting millions of Americans, employers are increasingly confronted with the challenge of accommodating such conditions in the workplace.

As a result of the ADA Amendments Act, many more employees are filing disability-related claims for failure-to-accommodate, discrimination, and retaliation, causing employers to question how to properly accommodate such conditions.

Regardless of what the specific allergen is or whether it has been identified, common reactions to exposure include headaches, respiratory problems, asthma, and skin irritations.