Skip to main content
Your Employee Matters


By July 1, 2009No Comments

When an employee requests an accommodation, employers should make two separate determinations: (1) Does the employee have a disability; and (2) Does the employee need the requested accommodation because of a limitation (any limitation) associated with the disability? To see how this applies to “side effects,” the EEOC gives this example:

Q: Must an employer provide a reasonable accommodation that is needed because of the side effects of medication or treatment related to the disability, or because of symptoms or other medical conditions resulting from the underlying disability?

A: Yes. The side effects caused by the medication that an employee must take because of the disability are limitations resulting from the disability. Reasonable accommodation extends to all limitations resulting from a disability.

Let’s say that an employee with cancer must undergo chemotherapy twice a week, which causes her to be quite ill afterward. The employee requests a modified schedule — leave for the two days after chemotherapy. Because the treatment will last for six weeks, she requests a leave for this period. The employer must comply unless doing so would constitute undue hardship.

Similarly, any symptoms or related medical conditions resulting from the disability that cause limitations may also require reasonable accommodation. To learn more go to