Reasonable Accommodation

A reasonable accommodation refers to a workplace adjustment made to assist an individual with a proven need. An employer may be asked to accommodate certain needs related to religious beliefs or physical disabilities. These accommodations must help the employee perform his or her job functions and must not be prohibitively expensive or unduly burdensome.

If you have questions about requesting or providing reasonable accommodations in the workplace, contact an attorney at Mays & Kerr for assistance.

Illegal Discrimination

It is illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee with disabilities or religious beliefs. In fact, employers are required to make reasonable accommodations for employees with religious customs or disabilities.

Reasonable accommodations allow employees to perform the essential functions of their job. Such accommodations can include:

  • Adjusting the workplace facility to make it accessible for individuals with disabilities;
  • Modifying a work schedule to allow an employee time for religious observance;
  • Providing equipment or devices that allow an employee to perform the essential functions of the job.

The goal of accommodation is to help an employee become a productive and successful member of the workforce.

Requests for Accommodation

Reasonable accommodations must be requested by the employee unless a disability prevents the employee from making the request. Determining a reasonable accommodation will generally involve an assessment of the job functions, a discussion with the employee, the identification of possible accommodations, and the impact the proposed accommodations would have on the office environment.

Accommodations cannot impose an undue burden on the employer. If an employee requests an accommodation that is prohibitively expensive or unreasonable, the employer may opt for an alternative accommodation as long as it helps the employee perform his/her job.

Access to Employee Medical Records

If the disability is not an obvious one, the employer may need to gather medical information about the condition in order to assist the employee in performing all job functions. Any release of medical information must be related to the disability; an employer is not entitled to full access to an employee's medical records. Access must be limited to the information related to the employee's ability to perform the job.

Contact a Knowledgeable Attorney for Advice

If you have questions about reasonable accommodations, contact an attorney to learn your rights and responsibilities. The law firm of Mays & Kerr is experienced at resolving employment-related disputes. Our attorneys are hardworking advocates who provide customized legal representation to meet our clients' needs.