Hello, I’m Oce Harrison. Today’s ADA Update answers the question, “What is a reasonable accommodation?”
In general, Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act requires an employer to provide a reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities who are employees or job applicants, unless doing so would cause undue hardship. " an accommodation is a change in the work environment or in the way things are done that gives an person with a disability an equal employment opportunity.
Key to identifying and providing a reasonable accommodation is an informal interactive process. Good Communication is essential. In the interactive process:
1. Usually the person with the disability makes a request for a reasonable accommodation
2. The person with the disability and employer together identify an effective accommodation
Some reasonable accommodations are:
- changing work schedules
- providing equipment
- changing test or training materials
- modifying policies
- a leave of absence can be an accommodation, as well as a reassignment to a vacant position.
An employer can refuse to provide an accommodation only when the accommodation creates an undue hardship. What is an undue hardship? It is something that is Costly, Disruptive or fundamentally alters the nature and operations of the business. The employee has to prove the accommodation is burdensome.
Remember: Crucial to identifying and providing a reasonable accommodation is an informal interactive process. So, polish your communication skills!