What Are Reasonable Accommodations?

Posted by: Chris

The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits employers from discriminating against employees because of their physical or mental disability. Disabled employees can be discriminated against in the workplace in a number of ways, including being denied the right to reasonable accommodations.

An Introduction to Reasonable Accommodations

A reasonable accommodation is an adjustment made to the working environment that makes it easier for the disabled person to apply for a job or perform his job. Some examples of reasonable accommodations may include installing wheelchair ramps so disabled employees can easily move through the office or allowing an employee with diabetes to take more frequent breaks to test his or her blood sugar.

Denying Reasonable Accommodation Requests

Under the ADA, employers have to provide reasonable accommodations to disabled employees unless making the accommodation would be too difficult or expensive. For instance, installing a wheelchair ramp may not a problem for a large corporation, but a small business may not be able to afford this accommodation. Therefore, the request would be reasonable for a large corporation, but unreasonable for a small business. However, employers are not allowed to deny a request simply because it costs money to make the accommodation. Denying a request without a valid reason to do so is a form of disability discrimination.

If there is more than one accommodation options, the employer has the right to choose which one they would like to make. For instance, let’s say a disabled employee needs to be reassigned to another position that doesn’t require manual labor. The employer can decide which position to reassign the employee to if there are multiple positions that would work for the disabled employee.

How to Request Reasonable Accommodations

It’s important to exercise your right to reasonable accommodations in the workplace if you have a disability. There’s no formal process that has to be followed in order to request a reasonable accommodation from your employer. You may want to put your request in writing so you have a paper trail that clearly shows who the request was sent to and when it was made. This will be useful if your employer doesn’t accommodate you and you have to seek legal action.

If you have a disability, it’s important to protect your rights in the workplace if they are being violated. Employees who have been unfairly denied the right to reasonable accommodations should seek legal representation from the attorneys at Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. today. Call us at 918-582-2500, or toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney.