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How to Respond to An Employer’s Request for Disability Accommodation

How is a Los Angeles employer supposed to respond to an employee’s disclosure of a disability? Under the Americans With Disabilities Act (“ADA”), an employer has a duty to make a reasonable adjustment for the employee’s disability – an adjustment or modification that allows the employee to do the job. For purposes of the ADA, a disability is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity, which can include basic tasks (walking, reading, bending, and communicating) and major bodily functions (functions of the immune system, digestion, bladder, brain, respiratory, endocrine, and reproductive systems, to name a few). Almost 20% of the workforce includes employees with disabilities.According to the ADA, an employer does not have to provide a reasonable accommodation for the employee if doing so would create an undue hardship, it is best to discuss your situation with an experienced employer lawyer prior to denying the employee’s request for an accommodation.

The following factors determine whether an accommodation creates an undue hardship:1441784200_20

  • the nature and cost of the accommodation
  • the financial resources of the employer (a larger, more successful business can usually afford to do more than a smaller one)
  • the nature of the business, including size, composition, and structure, and
  • accommodation costs already incurred in the workplace.

If an employee feels that an employer has discriminated against them because of their disability, they can bring a discrimination lawsuit. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of a disability. Most employers with at least 15 employees are covered by EEOC laws, as are most labor unions and employment agencies.

If you are approached by an employee stating they have a disability that requires employer accommodation, discuss your next steps with the experienced Los Angeles business lawyers at Hart, Watters & Carter today.