Reasonable accommodations in the workplace

Frank S. Clowney III

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is an important employee rights law. It provides protections for workers to be free from discrimination in the workplace based on their actual, past, and perceived disabilities. Under the ADA, a Californian cannot be discriminated against in the workplace because of their disabling condition.

However, a disability may prevent an individual from doing a job that they are qualified to do because of the equipment or location of the work. When an individual can do a job but requires accommodations to support their disability, their employer may be required to provide them. This post will explore what it means to make reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities.

What is a reasonable accommodation?

An accommodation can take on many forms to support an employee under the ADA. For example, a worker with mobility challenges may require a special chair or desk to work at to accommodate their physical needs. If that accommodation is reasonable, their employer may be required to provide it for them so that they can do their work.

A reasonable accommodation is one that meets a worker’s needs. It does not have to be exactly what the worker asks for. Under the ADA, an accommodation may be unreasonable if purchasing or installing may impose an undue hardship on an employer. Accommodations may be evaluated for reasonableness on case-by-case bases.

How does a worker secure an accommodation at work?

To get a workplace accommodation, a disabled employee may ask for what they need. They may need to show that they are qualified disabled worker, and they may have to work with their employer to find an accommodation that meets their requirements and is feasible for the employer to acquire. If an employer fights a disabled worker on securing any accommodation, the worker may be suffering from workplace disability discrimination.

This post does not offer any legal advice. Disability law and employee rights are significant legal topics that can have significant meaning for California workers. Those with questions about accommodations and employee options to attain them can contact their trusted employment law attorneys.