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What is Considered a Reasonable Accommodation?

An employee with a disability might find it difficult to complete certain job functions if they have not been set up for success. Applicants and employees have the legal right to request a reasonable accommodation to ensure that they have the liberties and privileges of any employee. If you submitted a request for a reasonable accommodation and you feel that your employment rights have been violated, reach out to a Marquette disability discrimination lawyer.

How Are Employees With Disabilities Protected?

In the United States, there are multiple federal and state laws protecting applicants and employees from discrimination in the workplace. One of the protected classes is people with a disability, whether it be mental, physical, or other. The EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) makes it illegal for an employer to make hiring, firing, salary, or other decisions based on a person’s race, color, national origin, religion, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, or disability.

The ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) outlines in detail the rights that people with disabilities have, including employment rights. Part of those rights is the right to request reasonable accommodations.

What is a Reasonable Accommodation?

A reasonable accommodation is anything that would allow an applicant to take part in the job application process, or a change that will allow an employee with a disability to succeed in their role or do their job more effectively. It is a request to alter a working environment for the benefit of the employee to ensure they can perform the functions of their job and are granted benefits and privileges that other employees have. Depending on the work environment and the type of disability that the employee has, an accommodation could be a physical change to the building or workspace, an adjustment of the tools used for the job, or a change in company policy. The request must be reasonable, meaning that it is within the company’s means to make the change.

What Are Some Examples of Reasonable Accommodations?

Every individual and disability is unique, so some employees may require a reasonable accommodation while others do not. Some companies may also have policies in place already to ensure the fair experience of all of their employees, disability or not. Some changes that may need to be made can include the following examples.

  • Adding a handicap-accessible stall in the bathroom
  • Adding a handicap-accessible spot in the parking lot
  • Adding ramps at the entrances or inside the building
  • Offering extra breaks to employees who need to take medication
  • Adjusting the work schedule to accommodate an employee who has medical appointments
  • Getting a sign language interpreter for meetings and events
  • Investing in accessible software and technology
  • Adjusting company policy to accommodate an employee with a service animal

What if My Employer Doesn’t Make the Change?

If the accommodation is not reasonable for the employer to install or accomplish, they may not have to meet your request. However, once you have requested a change your employer has the responsibility to look into making it happen. If your employment rights have been violated or your request was disregarded, contact a skilled employment lawyer for assistance.

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