John A. Klassen, PA Minnesota Employment Law Attorney
612-217-4988 877-390-4527

Employer has a duty to accommodate disabled worker

Ask any disabled person, and they will likely tell you that they would rather be able-bodied and not have anything slow them down. Unfortunately, there are some things in life we don't get a say in, and suffering from a disability is usually one of those things. However, a person still has to make a living wage and support him or herself, disability or not. With employment law, an employer has a duty to accommodate a disabled employee.

So what does this look like? It really depends on the situation, but the courts have deemed 'reasonable accommodation' to be anything that doesn't cause undue hardship to a business. Obviously, these terms can feel somewhat vague, but there are ways to apply them to a situation. If it doesn't cost a business unreasonable time, money or effort, often a reasonable accommodation can be made for a disabled employee.

For example, let's say a person has a disability that makes it difficult to stand for long periods of time. A reasonable accommodation would be to supply a chair for the disabled employee to sit in. Adding a chair to the workspace would not cause undue hardship for an employer, so it's what would be known as a reasonable accommodation. Understanding how these concepts apply to your specific situation could require further analysis.

Until then, it's important to understand that disability discrimination is not allowed under a variety of employment law protections. The point of laws protecting disability discrimination is to give more opportunities to disabled workers. This should help them to receive more opportunities in the workplace and to earn more wages.

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John A. Klassen, PA
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