Disability Discrimination & Reasonable Accommodation
The law requires an employer to provide reasonable accommodation to an employee or job applicant with a disability, unless doing so would cause significant difficulty or expense for the employer.
A reasonable accommodation is any change in the work environment (or in the way things are usually done) to help a person with a disability apply for a job, perform the duties of a job, or enjoy the benefits and privileges of employment.
Reasonable accommodation might include, for example, making the workplace accessible for wheelchair users or providing a reader or interpreter for someone who is blind or hearing impaired.
While the federal anti-discrimination laws don't require an employer to accommodate an employee who must care for a disabled family member, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) may require an employer to take such steps. The Department of Labor enforces the FMLA. For more information, call: 1-866-487-9243.
Disability Discrimination & Reasonable Accommodation & Undue Hardship
An employer doesn't have to provide an accommodation if doing so would cause undue hardship to the employer.
Undue hardship means that the accommodation would be too difficult or too expensive to provide, in light of the employer's size, financial resources, and the needs of the business. An employer may not refuse to provide an accommodation just because it involves some cost. An employer does not have to provide the exact accommodation the employee or job applicant wants. If more than one accommodation works, the employer may choose which one to provide.
Suggestions for a Disability Friendly Business
Please consider the following questions when evaluating your business for Disability Friendliness*.
Does it take a considerable expense to accommodate workers with disabilities?
No. About 73 percent of employers report that their employees with disabilities did not require any special accommodations. And the cost is less than $500 for more than 65 percent of those who do. According to studies by the Office of Disability Employment Policy's Job Accommodation Network reveal that 15 percent of all accommodations cost nothing, 51 percent cost between $1 and $500 and only...
The U.S. Department of Justice provides information about the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) through a toll-free ADA Information Line. This services permits businesses, State and local governments, or others call and ask questions about general or specific ADA requirements, including questions about the ADA Standards for Accessible Design. Spanish language services are also available. For general ADA information, answers to specific technical questions, free ADA materials, or...
This online course explains how the ADA applies to businesses in ten short lessons. Putting these lessons into practice allows employers to comply with the ADA and welcome a whole new group of customers to purchase your goods, products and services.
The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is the leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues. Working toward practical solutions that benefit both employer and employee, JAN helps people with disabilities enhance their employability, and shows employers how to capitalize on the value and talent that people with disabilities add to the workplace.
Accommodations for workers with disabilities are, generally speaking, easy to implement and can be made with a minimal financial obligation for the employer. Accommodations will help ensure that all workers can perform the requirements of the job to the best of their ability. Here are some reasonable and creative accommodations that an employer may encounter when hiring workers with disabilities.