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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Challenge Yourself!

Jamal, a cashier at a retail store, asks his Store Manager to order special equipment for the cash register because he has low vision and can't see the number keys. The Store Manager agrees to Jamal's request and orders the special equipment. Later that day, the Store Manager tells one of Jamal's co-workers about the special equipment she ordered because Jamal has trouble seeing the number keys on the cash register. The co-worker is surprised and says she didn't know that Jamal was "blind as a bat." The next day, Jamal's co-workers call him Batman and flap their arms and squint when they see him. Jamal complains to the Store Manager about this behavior, and she immediately tells the co-workers to stop. Jamal's co-workers don't make any more comments about his vision. Did the Store Manager respond correctly to Jamal's requests?

  1. A is incorrect.
    If Jamal needs an accommodation (a change to the way things are normally done at work) because of his disability, he does not have to make the request in writing. Making the request in person - as Jamal did in this example - is fine. Regardless of how he makes the request, Jamal must provide enough information so his employer can decide how to help him.

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  2. B is incorrect.
    The law requires that the Store Manager keep Jamal's medical information private, with very limited exceptions. There is no exception that permits sharing medical information with co-workers. The Store Manager should not have discussed Jamal's disability with his co-workers.

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  3. C is correct.
    The Store Manger handled Jamal's request for an accommodation (a change to the way things are normally done at work) because of his disability correctly. She also handled Jamal's complaint about co-worker harassment correctly. However, the Store Manager is required to keep Jamal's medical information private, with very limited exceptions. There is no exception in the law that permits sharing medical information with co-workers. The Store Manager should not have discussed Jamal's disability with his co-workers.

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  4. D is incorrect.
    Although the Store Manager may have had Jamal's best interests in mind, she should not have discussed his medical information with a co-worker. The law requires that the Store Manager keep Jamal's medical information private, with very limited exceptions. There is no exception in the law that permits sharing medical information with co-workers.

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