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What constitutes reasonable accommodations?

On Behalf of | May 16, 2018 | Firm News |

The Americans with Disabilities Act guarantees individuals who suffer from certain conditions reasonable accommodations in the workplace. The individual must request this accommodation. This request does not need to mention the ADA, but it should make clear what disability the person has and what accommodations would provide the greatest help.

Many employers would be more than happy to provide these accommodations, but others may give more pushback. There are some limitations to what employers can provide, but for the most part, they can do a lot to ensure every worker is comfortable and does not feel left out.

Limitations to the boss’s obligations

Ultimately, an employer does not have to provide accommodations if it would create an undue hardship on the company. There are two primary factors to determining undue hardship. The first is that providing arrangements cannot be expensive or disruptive to the office. The other is if the accommodation would create a direct threat.

Examples that are possible

Courts will find most types of modifications to be well within the scope of the company to accomplish. One option may be reassignment. If an employee can no longer perform the functions of the old job after an injury, then that employee may require an entirely new position. However, it is possible for this to also fall within the scope of retaliation. The new job has to be comparable to the old one. It cannot have a reduced salary.

The employer may need to restructure the current position. For example, an employee may not be able to be at the office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. if she needs to see a doctor every morning from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Therefore, the employer should consider altering the hours to lend a helping hand. In this instance, the accommodation does not even cost the boss any money. That is the case with many adjustments in the workplace.