By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.
Left arrow
Back
Co-workers sitting at a desk.Co-workers sitting at a desk.
Co-workers sitting at a desk.

Reasonable Accommodations FAQ: Your Guide to Understanding Employee Rights

Understanding the process for requesting and obtaining reasonable accommodations, as well as the rights and responsibilities of both employers and employees, is essential for ensuring a safe, inclusive, and equitable workplace for all.

Team Disclo
October 3, 2023

When it comes to the workplace, employees with disabilities may require reasonable accommodations to perform the essential functions of their job. This can range from modifications to the physical work environment to changes in work schedules or duties. In this article, we will answer some of the most frequently asked questions about reasonable accommodations in the workplace.

What is a Reasonable Accommodation?

A reasonable accommodation is any modification or adjustment to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to participate in the job application process, perform the essential functions of the job, or enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment. Examples of reasonable accommodations include, but are not limited to, modifying work hours, providing accessibility devices, and making changes to the physical work environment.

Who is eligible for a Reasonable Accommodation?

Any employee with a disability who meets the qualifications for a job and can perform its essential functions with or without reasonable accommodation is eligible for a reasonable accommodation. An individual with a disability is defined as someone who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment.

What is the process for requesting a Reasonable Accommodation?

The process for requesting a reasonable accommodation typically begins by informing the employer of the need for an accommodation. This can be done informally, such as through a conversation with a supervisor, or formally, such as through a written request. The employer may then initiate an interactive process with the employee to determine the appropriate reasonable accommodation.

Can an Employer Deny a Reasonable Accommodation Request?

Yes, an employer can deny a reasonable accommodation request if it would impose an undue hardship on the employer's business operations. Undue hardship is defined as an action that is too difficult or too expensive to take in light of the employer's size, financial resources, and the needs of the business.

What happens if an Employer Denies a Reasonable Accommodation Request?

If an employer denies a reasonable accommodation request, the employee has the right to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or to file a lawsuit in court. The employee may also be able to pursue alternative means of resolving the issue, such as mediation or settlement negotiations.

What are some common types of Reasonable Accommodations?

Some common types of reasonable accommodations include, but are not limited to, modifying work schedules, providing accessibility devices, and making changes to the physical work environment. Other examples include providing sign language interpreters, offering flexible leave policies, and allowing telecommuting.

Who pays for the reasonable accommodations?

In most cases, the employer is responsible for paying for reasonable accommodations. According to a survey conducted by the Job Accommodation Network (JAN): “...a high percentage (56%) of accommodations cost absolutely nothing to implement ($0), while the rest of the accommodations made had a typical cost of only $500. This $500 typical cost has been consistent across the many years of the JAN survey.” Link to the article: https://askjan.org/topics/costs.cfm

What happens if an Employee does not agree with the reasonable accommodation provided by the Employer?

If an employee does not agree with the reasonable accommodation provided by the employer, the employee may request that the employer reconsider the accommodation or provide a different reasonable accommodation. The employee may also file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or file a lawsuit in court.

What is the role of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)?

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a federal agency that enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. The EEOC investigates claims of discrimination and provides guidance and technical assistance to employers and employees on their rights and responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other federal anti-discrimination laws. If an employee believes that their employer has failed to provide a reasonable accommodation, they may file a complaint with the EEOC, which will investigate the matter and determine if any violations have occurred.

Conclusion

Reasonable accommodations in the workplace play a critical role in ensuring that employees with disabilities have equal access to job opportunities and are able to perform the essential functions of their jobs. Understanding the process for requesting and obtaining reasonable accommodations, as well as the rights and responsibilities of both employers and employees, is essential for ensuring a safe, inclusive, and equitable workplace for all. If you have any questions or concerns about reasonable accommodations in your workplace, we encourage you to contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for assistance.

When it comes to the workplace, employees with disabilities may require reasonable accommodations to perform the essential functions of their job. This can range from modifications to the physical work environment to changes in work schedules or duties. In this article, we will answer some of the most frequently asked questions about reasonable accommodations in the workplace.

What is a Reasonable Accommodation?

A reasonable accommodation is any modification or adjustment to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to participate in the job application process, perform the essential functions of the job, or enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment. Examples of reasonable accommodations include, but are not limited to, modifying work hours, providing accessibility devices, and making changes to the physical work environment.

Who is eligible for a Reasonable Accommodation?

Any employee with a disability who meets the qualifications for a job and can perform its essential functions with or without reasonable accommodation is eligible for a reasonable accommodation. An individual with a disability is defined as someone who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment.

What is the process for requesting a Reasonable Accommodation?

The process for requesting a reasonable accommodation typically begins by informing the employer of the need for an accommodation. This can be done informally, such as through a conversation with a supervisor, or formally, such as through a written request. The employer may then initiate an interactive process with the employee to determine the appropriate reasonable accommodation.

Can an Employer Deny a Reasonable Accommodation Request?

Yes, an employer can deny a reasonable accommodation request if it would impose an undue hardship on the employer's business operations. Undue hardship is defined as an action that is too difficult or too expensive to take in light of the employer's size, financial resources, and the needs of the business.

What happens if an Employer Denies a Reasonable Accommodation Request?

If an employer denies a reasonable accommodation request, the employee has the right to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or to file a lawsuit in court. The employee may also be able to pursue alternative means of resolving the issue, such as mediation or settlement negotiations.

What are some common types of Reasonable Accommodations?

Some common types of reasonable accommodations include, but are not limited to, modifying work schedules, providing accessibility devices, and making changes to the physical work environment. Other examples include providing sign language interpreters, offering flexible leave policies, and allowing telecommuting.

Curious to see how accommodations can support your employees?

Schedule a free demo today.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Who pays for the reasonable accommodations?

In most cases, the employer is responsible for paying for reasonable accommodations. According to a survey conducted by the Job Accommodation Network (JAN): “...a high percentage (56%) of accommodations cost absolutely nothing to implement ($0), while the rest of the accommodations made had a typical cost of only $500. This $500 typical cost has been consistent across the many years of the JAN survey.” Link to the article: https://askjan.org/topics/costs.cfm

What happens if an Employee does not agree with the reasonable accommodation provided by the Employer?

If an employee does not agree with the reasonable accommodation provided by the employer, the employee may request that the employer reconsider the accommodation or provide a different reasonable accommodation. The employee may also file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or file a lawsuit in court.

What is the role of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)?

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a federal agency that enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. The EEOC investigates claims of discrimination and provides guidance and technical assistance to employers and employees on their rights and responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other federal anti-discrimination laws. If an employee believes that their employer has failed to provide a reasonable accommodation, they may file a complaint with the EEOC, which will investigate the matter and determine if any violations have occurred.

Conclusion

Reasonable accommodations in the workplace play a critical role in ensuring that employees with disabilities have equal access to job opportunities and are able to perform the essential functions of their jobs. Understanding the process for requesting and obtaining reasonable accommodations, as well as the rights and responsibilities of both employers and employees, is essential for ensuring a safe, inclusive, and equitable workplace for all. If you have any questions or concerns about reasonable accommodations in your workplace, we encourage you to contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for assistance.

Share this article
Related Articles

Collect, verify, and manage workplace accommodations all in one place.

Disclo helps you manage health disclosures and accommodation requests — while staying compliant with HIPAA and ADA regulations.

Let's Disclo!

Schedule a 30-minute demo with a member of our team.
We respect your data. By submitting this form, you agree that we may use ​this information in accordance with our Privacy Policy.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.