Disability, reasonable accommodation, and undue hardship

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Living with a disability is hard enough. You don’t need matters at work making your life more difficult. Yet, this is a sad reality for many people who suffer from a disability. They are often subjected to discrimination, harassment, and wrongful termination. If you want to protect yourself from these outcomes, then you need to know your legal rights as a disabled worker. Here’s one of them.

Reasonable accommodation

Under federal and state law, most employers are required to make reasonable accommodation for disabled workers so that they are able to perform the essential functions of their job. Reasonable accommodation may include changing the physical space where you work, providing you with necessary equipment, and changing your job duties and/or work hours. Of course, you’ll need to request these accommodations from your employer and try to work with them to find an arrangement that works.

Undue hardship

It’s important to know that a denied reasonable accommodation request isn’t necessary illegal. This is because the law allows employers to avoid providing reasonable accommodation if they can show that it would create an undue hardship. Generally speaking, there are a number of factors that can be taken into consideration when determining whether undue hardship exists. The cost of the accommodation in light of the employer’s resources is relevant, and so too is the effect that the accommodation will have on the operations of the business.

What does this mean for you?

This means that you need to be diligent in not only your efforts to obtain reasonable accommodation, but also in your tracking of your employer’s response to your request. Document as much as you can so that if legal action is warranted, you’ll have the evidence you need. Also, these laws should help you recognize when your denied request or a negative employment action has violated your rights under state and federal law. We know that these cases aren’t always clear cut, though, and that standing up to an employer can be frightening, which is why firms like ours are ready to stand up and fight for you.

 

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