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

What is undue hardship with disability discrimination?

Disabled people in Minnesota and across the United States who are seeking employment are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Under the ADA, employers are required to give employees and prospective employees the same courtesies and opportunities accorded to people who are not disabled. However, there can be disagreements in how the ADA is interpreted and people who believe they have been discriminated against because they are disabled should be aware of how the law addresses these issues. One consideration that must be factored in is whether the needs of the employee fall into the category of undue hardship.

With undue hardship, the employer can claim that the action needed will result in significant problems or costs when considered in the context of the size of the business, its financial ability to cover the modifications, and the business itself. When there is a claim of disability discrimination, it is key to remember that the employer does not need to reduce the quality of its product or lower the standards for production so the accommodation can be made.

In general, the employer is not required to provide reasonable accommodation unless the disabled employee has requested it. An example might be the disability negatively impacting the employee performing his or her duties and the employer asking how that can be rectified. If the employee requests reasonable accommodation and there are several alternatives to provide it, the employer can select the option that costs the least.

This information is important as a case of disability discrimination often hinges on these factors. If the employer can provide the employee or prospective employee with what is needed to complete the work and simply chooses not to without there being undue hardship, then there might be a case for violating the ADA.

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John A. Klassen, PA
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