John A. Klassen, PA Minnesota Employment Law Attorney
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Complying with the requirement of "reasonable accommodation"

Most employers in Minnesota do their best to stay in compliance with all state and federal employment laws. But, there are some employers who don't meet this burden. Instead, they may engage in some type of employment discrimination. Disability discrimination is one example. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, employers are required to provide "reasonable accommodation" to disabled employees. Of course, that term is a bit subjective. What exactly is a "reasonable accommodation" for a worker in Minnesota who has a disability?

Well, employers aren't required to do anything and everything to accommodate an employee who has a disability, but they are required to take certain steps that would make it possible for the employee to do their job with the employer. For instance, an employer may need to make part of the work facility easier to access for the disabled employee. Or, the employer might need to make slight alterations to work schedules to make it possible for the employee to make it to work on time.

But, what happens if an employee becomes disabled after they have been hired? Say an employee has been with the company for 10 years and then becomes disabled and can't perform the same job role - is that employee out of luck? No necessarily. In this type of case, the employer, if possible, might be required to transfer that employee to another position, if one is available that the employee could do with the disability.

An employer's failure to provide reasonable accommodations could result in a lawsuit under the protections of the ADA. Discrimination of any kind in the workplace should not be tolerated.

Source: eeoc.gov, "Enforcement Guidance: Reasonable Accommodation and Undue Hardship Under the Americans with Disabilities Act," Accessed May 13, 2017

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