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Your Employee Matters

The Broad Possibilities of Reasonable Accommodation

By September 1, 2013No Comments

In managing today’s disability laws attorneys advise you to not fight whether something is in fact a disability, but simply to worry about whether you can reasonably accommodate limitations to meet productivity standards. A variety of accommodations might be available, depending on the circumstances. Here’s a list of possibilities. To learn more we encourage you to visit the Job Accommodation Network

  1. 1. Make existing facilities accessible. This might include access to break rooms, restrooms, training rooms, parking, furniture, equipment, etc.
  2. Allow applicants or employees to bring assistive animals to work (of course under limited circumstances.)
  3. Transfer employees to a more accessible worksite.
  4. Transfer employees to a different job that they can, in fact, do. Note that you are not required to create a new job as an accommodation.
  5. Provide assistive aids and services such as qualified readers or interpreters to an applicant or employee.
  6. Restructure the job by the reallocating or redistributing nonessential job functions in a job with multiple responsibilities.
  7. Provide a part-time or modified work schedule (not as a permanent solution, but only as an accommodation.)
  8. Permit an alteration of when or how an essential function is performed (i.e. instead of being required to come to work at 9 they can come to work at 10).
  9. Provide an adjustment to modifications of exams training materials or policies.
  10. Allow an employee to work for from home (yes disabled employees may have a greater right to do so than your nondisabled ones).
  11. Provide a paid or unpaid leave (no law requires you to offer an indefinite leave.)

Of course, by now you’ve been drilled to understand that what’s a reasonable accommodation versus an undue burden varies on a case-by-case basis. You’ll need to consider the cost and nature of the accommodation, and the overall financial resources of the company, the type of operations, geographic location and other factors. Take a look at the ADA forms and the checklists in HR That Works.