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Reasonable accommodation: what does it look like?

| Mar 23, 2020 | Uncategorized |

Most employees have heard the buzzword “reasonable accommodation.” The Americans With Disabilities Act requires that employers agree to adjustments to allow disabled employees to do their job. However, it can be difficult to know what this looks like day-to-day, and that can make it hard for those employees to know what they are entitled to.

What’s possible for disabled employees

The term “reasonable accommodation” is deliberately broad. Employers should be flexible. There are many things that can make work significantly easier for disabled employees, like:

  • Adjusting an employee’s work schedule
  • Getting them alternative equipment such as a monitor stand
  • Different forms of training, such as in person rather than online or vice versa
  • Keeping an employee in the same job but transferring the employee a different location or allowing telework, to allow for easier access to medical treatment

There are no limitations to what is reasonable, as long as it doesn’t pose an “undue hardship” to the employer.

What makes something an undue hardship?

It is the employer’s responsibility to prove that something is too expensive, disruptive or time-consuming for them to do. It is rare than an accommodation is actually too expensive or time-consuming. The Job Accommodation Network reports that nearly 60% of accommodations cost nothing to make.

Getting accommodations

The hardest part of getting help is often the first step of asking. However, many employers are happy to offer accommodations, especially when an employee can show that it’s an easy change. Disabled employees who are worried about what accommodations to request and how to make this request can contact our law firm for help in navigating this process with their employer.