Reasonable Accommodations and Employee Discrimination
Employment laws are in place to provide workers with certain protections. Among these are laws that prevent discrimination in the workplace. It is illegal for employees to be discriminated against on the basis of sex, religion, sexual orientation, or disability.
The Americans with Disabilities Act further protects disabled employees by granting them the right to reasonable accommodations, which are changes that make it possible for them to do their job. Those in the Allen, Plano, or Frisco, TX, area who believe they have been victims of discrimination related to reasonable accommodations can work with employment attorney Dan A. Atkerson to file a claim against their employer and pursue compensation for resulting losses.
What Are Reasonable Accommodations?
A reasonable accommodation is either an assistive device that is provided, or a change in workplace positions, duties, and/or practices that are made to enable a disabled employee to do their job. The Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified employees with disabilities, unless it would place an undue hardship on them.
Examples of Reasonable Accommodations
The specifics of a reasonable accommodation vary based on the situation and are meant to address each employee’s unique needs. Potential examples of reasonable accommodations include:
- Modifying existing facilities so they are usable by a disabled employee
- Altering work hours to accommodate necessary medical treatments
- Providing devices that would allow employees to perform job duties
- Modifying the way exams and/or training sessions are performed
- Allowing the use of a service animal
- Improving accessibility to a work area
- Providing reserved parking
- Altering job tasks or assigning the employee to a vacant position
Requesting a Reasonable Accommodation
Reasonable accommodations are considered on a case-by-case basis. To start the process of negotiating a reasonable accommodation, employees must notify their employer that they have a disability, while also explaining how that disability is interfering with their ability to perform certain job functions.
Once the request has been initiated, there should be a dialogue between the employer and employee to determine what types of accommodations would be effective. It is a good idea for employees to have a list of possible accommodations and how they would be useful. Once the employer and employee agree on a reasonable accommodation, they should create a plan to put it in place.
Document the Process of Requesting Reasonable Accommodations
It is important to document any information pertaining to reasonable accommodation negotiations, such as meeting dates, the reason for the request, recommendations that are made, etc. This documentation is important because it will allow for a thorough review of the process if any disputes should arise.
What If an Accommodation Is Not Granted?
If an employer denies a request for an accommodation they must be prepared to provide the employee with the reason why. Specifically, they must show how the accommodation would place an undue burden or hardship.
If an employee does not believe they have been provided a valid reason for the denial of a reasonable accommodation, they should contact an employment attorney. Attorney Dan A. Atkerson can review the request and advise clients on whether a disability claim should be filed.
Get In Touch with an Employment Law Attorney
If you believe that you have faced employee discrimination, Dan A. Atkerson can review your situation and advise you of your legal options. To schedule a legal consultation, send us a message online or call (214) 383-3606 at your earliest convenience.