Reasonable Accommodation

REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION

 

Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (the "ADA") requires an employer to provide reasonable accommodation to qualified disabled employees or applicants for employment, unless to do so would cause undue hardship. Generally, an accommodation is any change in the work environment or in the way things are customarily done that enables a disabled individual to enjoy equal employment opportunities. There are three categories of "reasonable accommodations":

(i) modifications or adjustments to a job application process that enable a qualified applicant with a disability to be considered for the position desired; or

(ii) modifications or adjustments to the work environment, or to the manner or circumstances under which the position held or desired is customarily performed, that enable a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of that position; or

(iii) modifications or adjustments that enable a covered entity’s employee with a disability to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment as are enjoyed by its other similarly situated employees without disabilities."

Because  of discrimination faced by disabled individuals, reasonable accommodation is required for qualified job applicants as well as employees with disabilities, whether they work part-time or full-time, or are considered probationary, because  of discrimination faced by individuals with disabilities and there are workplace barriers, both physical and/or procedural, that keep others from performing jobs which they could do with some form of accommodation
Reasonable accommodation removes workplace barriers for individuals with disabilities. The following is a partial list of reasonable accommodations or modifications to the work environment or adjustments in how and when a job is performed. These include:

● making existing facilities accessible;
● job restructuring;
● part-time or modified work schedules;
● acquiring or modifying equipment;
● changing tests, training materials, or policies;
● providing qualified readers or interpreters; and
● reassignment to a vacant position.

There are several modifications or adjustments that are not considered forms of reasonable accommodation. An employer does not have to eliminate an essential function, i.e., a fundamental duty of the position. This is because a person with a disability who is unable to perform the essential functions, with or without reasonable accommodation, is not a "qualified" individual with a disability within the meaning of the ADA. Nor is an employer required to lower production standards — whether qualitative or quantitative — that are applied uniformly to employees with and without disabilities. However, an employer may have to provide reasonable accommodation to enable an employee with a disability to meet the production standard. While an employer is not required to eliminate an essential function or lower a production standard, it may do so if it wishes.

An employer does not have to provide reasonable accommodations for personal use items needed in accomplishing daily activities both on and off the job. Thus, an employer is not required to provide an employee with a prosthetic limb, a wheelchair, eyeglasses, hearing aids, or similar devices if they are also needed off the job. Furthermore, an employer is not required to provide personal use amenities, such as a hot pot or refrigerator, if those items are not provided to employees without disabilities. However, items that might otherwise be considered personal may be required as reasonable accommodations where they are specifically designed or required to meet job-related rather than personal needs.

 

 
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