The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires an employer with more than 15 employees to provide reasonable accommodation to employees with a temporary or permanent disability.
A reasonable accommodation is meant to ensure that disabled employees enjoy similar privileges to other workers in the organization. In essence, it levels the playing field for all workers.
What constitutes a reasonable accommodation?
Anything that will make it possible for an employee with limited physical capabilities to discharge their duties effectively may amount to reasonable accommodation. Under the ADA, this may include changing the job application process to accommodate qualified applicants with disabilities, or modifications to the work environment that help a disabled employee.
Reasonable accommodation may take the form of:
- Flexible work arrangements or shifts
- Providing leave as an accommodation
- Job reassignment
- Having documents in a certain format
- Making the office physically accessible
- Communication support, among others
However, an employer is not always obligated to provide reasonable accommodation. If they will endure undue hardship when accommodating a worker’s disability, the law might exempt them.
Undue hardship explained
Undue hardship means that the employer would have to incur significant costs to accommodate an employee’s disability. Similarly, if accommodation is extensive, substantial or disruptive to the organization’s operations, it may be considered an undue hardship.
Protecting your rights as an employee
Is your employer stonewalling your request for reasonable accommodation, or are you facing retaliation for requesting accommodation for your disabilities? Then you need to be aware of your legal options.
Many employees opt to resign from their jobs in such cases because they are unaware of the laws in place protecting them from any form of workplace discrimination. Learning more about them will help you safeguard your legal rights and ensure you get justice for any hardships you’ve suffered.