What are reasonable accommodations in the workplace?

On Behalf of | Jul 13, 2016 | Disability Discrimination |

This Minneapolis employment law blog has previously discussed the Americans with Disabilities Act, also known as the ADA. A person who suffers from a physical or mental disability may request that his employer provide him with a reasonable accommodation so that he may do the work he is hired to do, and the right to make this form of request is secured under the tenants of the ADA. However, understanding what is considered reasonable with regard to the ADA’s requirements is not always clear, and this blog post will touch on some of the issues that can obfuscate one’s understanding of reasonableness when it comes to making workplace accommodations for disabilities.

First, it is important for readers to understand that there is no one-size-fits-all accommodation for disabled workers. While one worker may require physical changes to her office furniture to enable her to work at her computer, another worker may require a modification to her work schedule to accommodate the demands of her disability. Accommodations can take on many forms and are generally dictated by the needs of each disabled employee.

Second, an employer does not have to subject itself to undue hardships in order to accommodate an employee. Just as considerations regarding the reasonableness of an accommodation are assessed on case-by-case bases, so too are considerations made about whether accommodations may be unduly burdensome on employers. Some of the factors that can be considered when evaluating if an accommodation is burdensome are the cost of the accommodation, the size of the employer and the scope of operations that would be affected by providing the employee with the accommodation.

While a worker may request that his employer provide him with a reasonable accommodation for his disability, there is a chance that the employer may not have to provide it if doing so would be burdensome. To learn more about whether one’s personal case may be covered by the ADA, readers are encouraged to speak with employment law professionals about seeking reasonable accommodations for their disabilities.