Although occupational social workers routinely assist employees with alcohol- or drug-related disabilities, workers with disabling problems such as back pain, paralysis, and cancer have not received as much attention, even though they are covered by the same laws and programs. Employees with disabilities benefit from assistance in assessing health and work abilities, seeking accommodation and protection from discrimination in the workplace, developing a plan for income and health insurance, and maintaining family functioning and self-esteem. Employers benefit from assistance with employees that supports the need to balance safety, efficiency, and the considerate and legal treatment of workers. Occupational social workers are uniquely qualified to assist in this arena because the issues raised by disability reflect a mix of workplace requirements, individual physical and emotional needs, and public social policy. This article presents an analysis of the issues confronting workers with disabilities and their employers and provides information about disability and workplace disability policy important to the practice of occupational social work.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science