If you are disabled or your spouse is struggling with a disability, make sure you have a firm understanding of employer obligations with respect to reasonable accommodations. Regrettably, many disabled workers’ rights are violated and some do not even recognize unlawful activity when it occurs. Disability discrimination creates various hardships for victims, from financial complications to emotional pain, and employers who disregard the law must answer for their wrongdoing.
Unfortunately, disability discrimination occurs far too frequently and is not always taken seriously.
Reviewing employers’ obligations regarding reasonable accommodations
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to staff members who are disabled. Some examples include offering an interpreter or a reader for workers who are blind or have a hearing impairment, as well as providing a ramp for staff members who need a wheelchair. Employers are not always obligated to provide accommodations if this is very burdensome and expensive (undue hardship). Unfortunately, some employers fail to take the needs of disabled staff members into account, even though they are fully capable of providing reasonable accommodations.
Reviewing examples of undue hardship
The EEOC states that employers are not obligated to offer accommodations if this causes undue hardship. For example, if a company has limited financial resources and providing accommodations is very costly, or a company has other individual needs that make it challenging to offer certain accommodations, they are not always legally obligated to offer certain accommodations. If multiple accommodations are viable, employers can choose which one to offer regardless of an employee’s preferences.