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What are reasonable accommodations?

If you are an employee in California who has a disability, an employer may not turn you down for a position, or fire you from an existing one, just because of your disability. In fact, federal regulations require that employers make reasonable accommodations for the employee so he or she can perform the job on an equal level to colleagues. These accommodations can come in different forms, from physical changes to work schedules to job reassignment.

According to the Department of Labor, reasonable accommodation refers to a modification to the work environment or specific position that enables the employee to successfully perform what is necessary for his or her job. These productivity enhancers may include:

  • Accessible and facilitating software or other technology
  • Changes to the work station and/or office spaces
  • Accessible communications
  • Policy changes such as a flexible work schedule or use of a service animal

According to the Office of Disability Rights, accommodation may include reassigning a current disabled employee to a different position. In this situation, the employee does not need to compete to get the job and it should be one of comparable pay. Accommodation may also include the ability to work from home, on-the-job training or the use of an assistant. These accommodations must be made unless it causes an undue hardship, such as excessive cost or loss in production, for the employer.

If you feel an employer discriminated against you because of your disability, you have legal rights. The best thing to do is speak with an attorney who is skilled and experienced in employment law.

 

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