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  • Apple employees threaten to quit as company takes hard line stance on remote work

    So, I have lots of work experience with this stuff. They are not required to turn over medical records. Apple doesn't need their records or diagnosis unless the employee chooses to share it. What employees DO need to do is have their doctor fill out paperwork outlining what accommodations are needed based on the individual job description which HR would provide for this purpose. The employer DOESN'T need to agree to them for every job. For example, if someone is hired specifically to drive a fork-lift and their accommodations prevent them from reasonably being able to do the duties of the job (i.e. they cannot operate machinery for more than 15 minutes at a time or something), the employer can say no, sorry, you can no longer do the job you were hired for. At that point the employer will engage in a process to figure out another suitable position for the employee so that the accommodations can be followed. Pay may or may not be the same.  If none, then the employee is out of luck and often at that point should be considering the type of work they are trying to do. Perhaps disability or another type of job is better with the change in abilities.

     I went through this myself and chose to start my own business instead of trying to make my employer work around my ever-increasing needs. I am ALL for employee rights...but nobody is entitled to keep a job they can no longer reasonably do without undue hardship on the company they are working for and its needs. For clarity I'm focusing most on the employee with ADA accommodations that they think will be later denied). Most employers will allow accommodations that are temporary in nature (during an accident recovery for example). If the accommodation is permanent, they're going to have to prove it as well as prove they can still complete the job they were hired for. Working from home is a very tricky one because there is so much liability. For example, if you're working using your dining room chair and your back becomes hurt, is it worker's comp? Is it your own personal injury? Most companies want to avoid this kind of stuff if possible because what happens is so many people try to take advantage. At the same time, I expect Apple to be open-minded and at the forefront of a healthier work/life balance for employees. If the employees can reasonably work from home and complete their jobs, Apple could easily work with their legal department to facilitate the process. It really all comes down to what jobs these people are doing and if Apple has reasonably tried to accommodate needs.
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