Date: 03/24/2021
Time: 1 pm eastern
Run Time: 90 minutes including Q & A session
Leader: Dr. Jim Castagnera, Attorney at Law
Credits: Awarded 1.5 credit hours by HRCI and 1.5 PDCs by SHRM
Price: Webinar $295; Webinar + Download $349 (Share the download with your colleagues)
Audience: HR, Benefits, Finance, Supervisors & Managers, In-house counsel


Employees with chronic health conditions ‒ such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and cancer to name a few ‒ are protected under the ADA, FMLA, GINA, and a host of other federal, state, and local statutes and regulations. And certainly, by this time in the pandemic, any chronically ill employees who were qualified have received their required workplace accommodations. But, as more employees get vaccinated, and hopefully as the pandemic recedes and employers call more workers back to the workplace, new questions arise. These concern the nature of the accommodations granted during the pandemic and any requirement to continue these in the same form as employees go back to their workplaces.

Available data indicate that one in four American adults suffers from two or more chronic health issues, and many of these people are active in the labor force. Finding the right balance between workplace efficiency and compassionate leadership, while walking the legal tightrope requires that HR understand the regulatory requirements and how they apply now during the pandemic and how they will apply in a post-pandemic workplace. This challenge will be enhanced by the complications of chronic illness and pain. Along with the underlying chronic condition and the overt symptoms may come depression, drug use, unpredictable absenteeism, and genuine fears about workplace safety now and post pandemic. Fashioning reasonable accommodations that meet the employee’s legitimate needs, while avoiding undue hardship for the organization and its other employees, will be one of the most demanding challenges facing employers in a workplace, which has been permanently changed by the pandemic. Please join Dr. Jim Castagnera, attorney at law, as he explains current requirements for accommodating your chronically ill workforce and how these requirements have been and will continue to be reshaped by the pandemic.


During this informative webinar, Dr. Castagnera will discuss:

  • Provisions of the ADA, FMLA, GINA, and other federal requirements as they apply to employees with chronic illnesses
  • Trends in state laws and local ordinances that expand the rights of the disabled
  • Reverting pandemic-era accommodations to pre-pandemic levels
  • Requiring employees with chronic illnesses to be vaccinated. What if they refuse for either medical or religious reasons? Is the employer required to continue a work accommodation in this type of situation?
  • Under what circumstances can an employee with a chronic illness be required to return to the workplace once the pandemic-related risks subside?
  • Psychological fears associated with returning to the workplace as another type of chronic illness which employers will be required to accommodate
  • How to have an open dialog with a chronically ill employee that meets the ADA interactive process requirements and results in a mutually acceptable resolution
  • Creating job descriptions that adequately and accurately identify fundamental job duties
  • How to respond to the employee’s own ideas and suggestions for accommodation
  • When work from home arrangements become a burden for the employer, providing accommodations at the worksite
  • The dos and don’ts of the ongoing communication process


Dr. Jim Castagnera is an employment and labor attorney with more than 36 years’ experience. He is a sought-after speaker on COVID-19 and other HR-compliance topics, an experienced professor, successful author, and accomplished consultant who assists his clients in meeting their current HR compliance challenges with clear and practical solutions. He holds a JD and a PhD from Case Western Reserve University. Following ten years as an employment and labor lawyer with a major Philadelphia law firm, he served for 23 years as in-house legal counsel at Rider University. With 20 published books, mostly on HR-law topics, he teaches HR compliance in Drexel University’s Kline School of Law and is the chief consultant of Holland Media Services, with offices in Los Angeles and Philadelphia.