Protecting Your Right to Reasonable Accommodation
If you are an employee with a disability covered under the law, your employer cannot use that disability against you. Similarly, employers are legally bound to make reasonable accommodations for employees so they can complete their work in a timely manner. Unfortunately, many employers don’t understand these laws or choose to ignore them, which can make it difficult for an employee to thrive. If your employer has failed to provide reasonable accommodations or has retaliated against you for requesting accommodations, you may have a case against them in court.
Our team at Riggan Law Firm, LLC, has years of experience protecting our clients from harassment and discrimination by employers. If you believe your employer has acted unlawfully, we will review the circumstances of your case and advise you on how to proceed. You could potentially seek compensation for lost wages, wrongful termination, and more. To speak with an employment law attorney on our team, call us today at 314-528-9661.
What Kinds of Businesses Does the ADA Apply to?
The federal Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits employers from discriminating against qualified people with disabilities. This act sets the standard for reasonable accommodations that must be provided in the workplace.
The ADA applies to the following types of businesses:
- State and local governments
- Private employers
- Employment agencies
- Labor-management committees
- Labor organizations
Employees with disabilities are protected during hiring, firing, training, recruitment, job assignments, benefits assignments, and pay assignments. Employers cannot discriminate against any employee because of their disability. Similarly, your employer cannot retaliate against you for demanding your ADA rights under the law. Retaliation can include harassment, discrimination, or wrongful termination.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) requires employers to comply with ADA regulations if they have over 15 employees. The U.S. Department of Justice requires all state and local government programs to comply with ADA regulations no matter how many people they employ. If you have questions about whether your employer must comply with ADA regulations, contact our office today.
What Are the Main Types of Reasonable Accommodations?
The ADA states that employers must provide reasonable accommodations for disabled employees unless it causes undue hardship. Reasonable accommodations can include any change in the work environment to enable an individual with disabilities to perform their essential duties.
The three categories of accommodations include the following:
- No-tech: Accommodations that do not cost much money, like support and time.
- Low-tech: Simple or unsophisticated accommodations that are available in most workplaces, like a magnifier or solid-color carpeting.
- High-tech: Advanced or sophisticated accommodations, like a screen reader with text-to-speech for a blind employee.
Unless any of these accommodations would cause undue hardship to the employer, they are bound by law to provide these changes. Undue hardships could include cost, a danger to employees, or anything beyond the company’s capability. For instance, a small startup may not have the resources to provide advanced software, but a well-established and profitable company would.
What Are Some Examples of Reasonable Accommodations?
Reasonable accommodations will depend on the individual and their job duties. However, there are some common reasonable accommodations that many employers are able to provide.
Common reasonable accommodations include the following:
- Altering management techniques
- Part-time or modified work schedule
- Rearranging furniture for employees who use wheelchairs
- Providing ergonomic workstation equipment
- Providing interpreters
- Job restructuring
- Adding accessibility equipment, like handrails and ramps
- Reassigning an employee to a vacant position
- Purchasing software or other equipment
- Changing the way the employee performs their tasks without altering the finished product
It is up to employers to work with their employees to determine how best to support them in their roles. If your employer has provided you with accommodations and you need them to be adjusted, you can meet with management to change your accommodations or request new ones.
If at any time you are denied reasonable accommodation in the workplace, talk to an attorney on our team. In most cases, it is illegal to deny an employee with disabilities a reasonable accommodation to complete their job duties. Similarly, if you are facing harassment, discrimination, or wrongful termination due to your disability or request for accommodations, our team can help you. Call our office today to learn more about the ADA and what rights you have under the law.
When is a Disability Protected Under the ADA?
A disability must be considered a substantial impairment to be qualified under the ADA. There are many disabilities that are protected under this act.
In general, a disability must significantly limit one or more of the following:
- Performing manual tasks
- Other major life activities
All employees must be able to perform the essential duties of their job responsibilities. Similarly, employees must be qualified for the position and have the required education, experience, and background. However, employers cannot discriminate against potential employees if they cannot perform non-essential tasks unrelated to the job.
Can an Employment Law Attorney Help Me?
Employees with disabilities have the right to request reasonable accommodations in the workplace. As long as these accommodations do not cause undue hardship or interfere with other employees, an employer is bound by law to provide them. If your employer has committed accidental or intentional discrimination toward you, you may have a legal case against them. Our team at Riggan Law Firm, LLC, will help gather evidence on your behalf to file a lawsuit against your employer and get the justice you deserve. To learn more about our attorneys and to see if you have a potential case against your employer, call our office today at 314-528-9661.