What is Reasonable Accommodation Under the Americans with Disabilities Act?

What is Reasonable Accommodation Under the Americans with Disabilities Act

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, employers are prohibited from engaging in workplace disability discrimination. They must also provide reasonable accommodations in order to allow disabled workers to do their jobs. The experienced employment law attorneys at Swartz Swidler regularly help people with ADA claims.

What’s a reasonable accommodation?

Reasonable accommodations are changes that are made to a job or workplace to help employees to complete their jobs despite their disabilities. Qualified employees who have disabilities must be accommodated if the accommodations would not cause undue hardships to the employers.

Negotiating accommodations

It is possible to negotiate an accommodation with your employer. You’ll want to think about potential accommodations and how effective they might be, the essential functions of the job and how long the accommodation would work before changes were required. Finally, you’ll want to document the availability and cost of the requested accommodations. Having this information gathered in advance might put you in a better position to negotiate with your employer for reasonable accommodations.

Undue hardship

Under the ADA, employers are not required to make accommodations that would cause them to suffer undue hardships, which are substantial expenses or difficulty. Employers have to show that the requested accommodation was too disruptive, extensive or costly to be implemented in the workplace. The EEOC has established some guidelines about the factors to consider for determining whether or not an accommodation causes an undue hardship. These include the cost and nature of the accommodation and the employer’s size and financial resources. Also considered are the business’s structure and composition as well as the costs of other already existing accommodations in the workplace. Financial difficulty alone is usually insufficient. Courts normally will look at other sources of income for the business when trying to determine if a requested accommodation is truly cost-prohibitive for a business.

Contact an attorney

If you have made a request for an accommodation for your disability and it was denied, you might want to talk to an experienced employment law attorney. Our lawyers may be able to help you to negotiate with your employer to secure the accommodation. If necessary, our attorneys may file a discrimination charge against your employer or a lawsuit in court. Contact Swartz Swidler to learn more.