A recent Kansas federal court decision provides a good reminder of the importance of engaging in the interactive process when you’re dealing with disability accommodation requests. The ruling also highlights the perils of “pretext” (or false excuses) when articulating nondiscriminatory reasons for disciplining an employee.
Gracelynn Howard started working for Walmart as a pharmacy manager in 2007. In January 2017, a physician completed an accommodation request form on her behalf, stating she needed a chair with a back and automated window shutters as accommodations for a disability. Her manager provided the chair and instructed her to ask a staff member for help with the shutters. Howard then got a new manager, Caleb Magee.