When Can An Employer Refuse to Make Reasonable Accommodations For Disabled Employees?


Posted by: Chris

A reasonable accommodation is any modification that will allow a disabled individual to experience equal employment opportunities in the workplace. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employers are required to make these accommodations for their disabled employees or applicants. But there are some exceptions to this rule. Here’s what you should know about your right to reasonable accommodations: 

What Are Examples of Reasonable Accommodations?

There are a number of reasonable accommodations that an employer may need to make for disabled employees and job applicants. Some examples of these accommodations include:

  • Allowing a disabled employee to work a flexible work schedule
  • Providing a sign language interpreter to a deaf job applicant
  • Installing a wheelchair ramp to make the workplace accessible to a disabled employee

These are some of the many ways that an employer can change the workplace to accommodate disabled individuals.

Reasonable Accommodations & Undue Hardship

The law states that employers are not required to make reasonable accommodations when doing so would cause “undue hardship.” An accommodation can cause an undue hardship if it is extremely difficult, disruptive, or expensive to make. But what causes an undue hardship on one employer may not cause an undue hardship on another, which is what makes it difficult to determine whether or not your employer has the right to refuse your request.

For example, let’s say you are working for a small business and you ask them to allow you to work a more flexible schedule to accommodate your disability. Allowing you to work a flexible schedule could leave the company understaffed during certain hours, which could cause a significant disruption to their business. As a result, your employer may not be required to make this accommodation since it causes an undue hardship.

But if you were working for a large corporation, granting this request probably would not disrupt their business. Therefore, a large corporation may be required to make this accommodation because it does not impose an undue hardship on the business. 

If your request for a reasonable accommodation has been denied, it’s best to review your situation with an attorney to determine whether your rights have been violated. 

Has your employer refused to make a reasonable accommodation? If so, seek legal representation from the attorneys at Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. as soon as possible. Let us aggressively protect your rights and hold your employer financially accountable on your behalf. Call us now at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.