ALS Awareness in the WorkplaceJune 9, 2020
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a neurodegenerative disease that attacks nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. ALS is characterized by rapidly progressive weakness due to muscle atrophy and muscle spasticity, difficulty in speaking, swallowing, and breathing. This disease does not have just one specific cause, but various reasons for its development. The disorder causes a degeneration of the upper and lower motor neurons, which results in muscle weakness and atrophy. Those who have been diagnosed with ALS may lose the ability to initiate and control all voluntary movement. The final stages of ALS may still allow the patient to control eye movement along with bladder and bowel control, but that is not always the case.
There are two known types of ALS, familial and sporadic. Familial is inherited but only affects around five percent of the ALS population. Sporadic is the most common type, comprising around 95 percent of ALS cases. Most people with ALS are diagnosed between 40 and 70 years old.
ALS and the Americans with Disabilities Act
ALS is a very serious disease that can cause many different issues to arise over time. Although it is serious, those who are diagnosed with ALS still have to provide for themselves and their family. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) helps employers determine the accommodations of those with ALS that need to continue working. All accommodations should be made on a case by case basis, as some ALS cases may not need as many accommodations as others. Accommodation ideas for workers with ALS include:
- Aides or assistants
- Flexible schedules
- Periodic rest breaks
- Work from home options
- Modified workspaces
Anything an employer can do to make work conditions easier for their employee with ALS is greatly appreciated by those with the disease. Living with ALS is not easy and can be a very scary diagnosis to receive. Take the time to offer help to those that you know have ALS and recognize the struggles they go through daily.
If you are an employer, check to make sure that your business has accommodations in place for those who may need it, and check in on your employees to ensure there is no disability discrimination present and that employees are working in the best possible conditions.
Cherry Hill Employment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Fight for Proper Accommodations in the Workplace
If you have been diagnosed with ALS and are still working, you are entitled to accommodations. Our Cherry Hill employment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. are here to help you navigate the accommodations you deserve, and the protections you have under the ADA. Call us at 215-569-1999 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Pennsauken, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Cherry Hill, Haddonfield, Marlton, Moorestown, and Mount Laurel.