Understanding reasonable disability accommodations

On Behalf of | Oct 7, 2019 | employment law | 0 comments

Workers with disabilities receive protection from employment discrimination through federal and state laws such as the Americans With Disabilities Act. Under these laws, certain employers must make reasonable accommodations so these workers can perform successfully and access expanded job opportunities.

Learn how reasonable accommodations work in Texas and explore whether you may be eligible for these provisions.

How does the process work?

 The ADA’s guidelines about reasonable accommodations apply to any business with at least 15 employees. Each request from a disabled employee must individually go through a review process by management, human resources and other business stakeholders. Depending on your company, a protocol may already exist for accommodation requests.

After you request disability accommodations in writing, your employer can request documentation of the condition from a health care provider. Once you provide this documentation, the company must make a good faith effort to create accommodation as long as doing so does not provide an undue hardship such as exorbitant cost.

Your employer must keep information about disabilities and accommodations confidential. Once accommodations are in place, you should provide follow-up information about the efficacy of these adjustments.

 What kind of accommodations can I request?

 Reasonable accommodations ideally provide the tools and resources a disabled employee needs to effectively do his or her job. Accommodations requests can include diverse solutions such as Braille or large-print training materials, assistive and adaptive technologies, wheelchair ramps and other physical changes to the office environment, as well as policy changes such as flex time so employees can seek necessary medical care.

What if my employer denies my request?

 You have the right to appeal your employer’s decision in court. Making this type of claim cannot result in retaliation by the company, such as job loss or other punitive action. However, the employer can argue that such accommodations are cost-prohibitive.