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Understanding ADA reasonable accommodation requests

On Behalf of | Feb 23, 2024 | Employment Law For Employers |

The Americans with Disabilities Act is legislation that aims to ensure equal opportunities for individuals with disabilities. One important aspect of the ADA is the provision of reasonable accommodations in the workplace.

Understanding these requests is key to fostering a compliant, inclusive and accessible work environment.

What are reasonable accommodations?

Reasonable accommodations can be adjustments to the job, the workplace or how someone applies for the job. These modifications help level the playing field, ensuring that individuals with disabilities have equal opportunities in the workplace.

Who qualifies?

Any individual with a disability who meets outlined job qualifications is eligible to request reasonable accommodations. A disability, in this context, is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. It is important to note that to qualify, individuals must still meet the basic requirements of the job, with or without accommodations.

The process

Understanding the process of requesting reasonable accommodations is key. An employee or job applicant must inform their employer of their need for accommodations. It is advisable to make the request as soon as possible to facilitate a smooth process. The individual can make the request verbally or in writing, depending on his or her preference.

Examples of reasonable accommodations

Reasonable accommodations can vary based on the nature of the disability and the job requirements. Some common examples include modified work schedules, accessible workspaces, assistive technology or adjustments to policies and procedures. The goal is to ensure that individuals with disabilities can effectively perform their job duties.

The interactive process

Upon receiving a reasonable accommodation request, employers should engage in an interactive process with the individual to determine the most effective solution. This involves open communication and collaboration to find an accommodation that meets the needs of both the employer and the employee.

Following ADA reasonable accommodation guidelines ensures employers are legally compliant while fostering a culture of equality and opportunity.