In honor of National Donate Life month, JAN wanted to take time to talk about accommodations for individuals who have undergone organ transplants. Many people who have had organ transplants have already experienced chronic health conditions for many years. After receiving an organ transplant they do get a new lease on life, but significant challenges can remain. After an organ transplant, transplant recipients have to take immunosuppressant drugs to keep their bodies from rejecting the new organs. These drugs can cause serious side effects, and sometimes they can increase the risk of developing other impairments. As a result, employers might want to be aware that accommodations may be needed both before and after the transplant. To provide employers with accommodation information, JAN recently published an article on accommodations for employees who have undergone organ transplants in the JAN Blog.
In addition, here are several accommodation examples involving employees who have undergone organ transplants:
- An administrative employee at a busy hospital who had a heart transplant was told by his doctor he needed to avoid areas where he would be exposed to pathogens because he was taking immunosuppressant medications. The employee’s job did not require him to have direct contact with the public and in fact it was determined that the essential functions of the employee’s job could be done from home. The employer allowed the employee to work at home as an accommodation.
- A call center employee who works in a cubicle that is also used by other employees was concerned about being exposed to germs. The employee had undergone a liver transplant and was taking immunosuppressant medication. The employer allowed the employee to have her own private cubicle and purchased a keyboard, mouse, and telephone headset that could be sterilized.
- An employee at a law firm had to sign many documents as a part of her job. The employee was taking immunosuppressant medications, which caused a side effect of severe tremors in her hands making it difficult for her to sign documents. The employer provided a weighted pen temporarily and ordered a signature stamp as a long term solution.