What Should I Know About Reasonable Accommodations?

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If you have a new hire or an employee who endured a severe injury, they may request reasonable accommodations to complete their job. However, this can be challenging, as the requirements of their job may make modifications difficult to execute. The last thing you want is a disability discrimination lawsuit affecting your company. If you’re struggling with fulfilling the request, you’ll want to keep reading. You’ll learn the components of reasonable accommodations while discovering how a Los Angeles discrimination defense attorney can help keep your company’s reputation pristine.

What Are Reasonable Accommodations?

Under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, employees with disabilities may request accommodations to help them perform their duties. These are modifications to the job or work environment that allow the employee to complete their expected responsibilities to the best of their ability. Once an employee makes a request, as an employer, you must engage in an interactive process to help try to make the modification.

As an employer, you have the right to determine if the disability is covered and qualified under the ADA. This includes asking for documentation, with the exception that the employee’s condition is apparent.

Reasonable accommodations in the workplace include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Modified work schedules
  • Reassignment to a vacant position
  • Interpreters
  • Making workspaces more accessible

What Is Undue Hardship?

In most instances, you must accommodate an employee’s request. An exception is if the modification poses “undue hardship” on your business’s operation and performance.

If a request poses a hardship on your business, such as monetary expenses, a reduction in workplace safety, or breaks the law, you are not required to complete the request.

However, you must work with the employee to consider alternative options that would allow them to effectively complete their job. For example, if an employee requests to eliminate an aspect of their position, but that task is a primary responsibility of the job, it would create an undue hardship. However, you can suggest other accommodations that would help make the completion of the task more accessible for the employee.

What Should I Do if My Company Is Facing Accusations of Discrimination?

If  an employee’s request for accommodations poses an undue hardship, like an extreme financial expense or fundamental change to the position, you do not have to implement it. You can deny the request, but you should continue to work with the employee to find an alternative solution. If the worker will not relent, they may accuse you of denying their request out of malice and discrimination.

When your company is facing legal action from a disgruntled employee, you’ll need the assistance of an experienced employment defense attorney. At the Lee Law Offices, we can help support and protect your business. Don’t let unwarranted claims close your company’s doors for good. Reach out today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.