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How Should An Employer Respond to An Employee’s Request for Disability Accommodation

How is an Orange County employer supposed to respond to an employee’s disclosure of a disability? Under the Americans With Disabilities Act (“ADA”), your employer has a duty to make a reasonable adjustment for the employee’s disability – an adjustment or modification that allows the employee to do the job.  For purposes of the ADA, a disability is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity, which can include basic tasks (walking, reading, bending, and communicating) and major bodily functions (functions of the immune system, digestion, bladder, brain, respiratory, endocrine, and reproductive systems, to name a few). Almost 20% of the workforce includes employees with disabilities.

While under the ADA, an employer does not have to provide a reasonable accommodation for the employee if doing so would create an undue hardship, it is best to discuss your situation with an experienced Orange County employer lawyer if your request for an accommodation has been denied by your employer.

The following factors determine whether an accommodation creates an undue hardship:

  • The nature and cost of the accommodation
  • The financial resources of the employer (a larger, more successful business can usually afford to do more than a smaller one)
  • The nature of the business, including size, composition, and structure, and
  • The accommodation costs already incurred in the workplace.

If you, the employee, feel that your Orange County employer has discriminated against you because of your medical disability, you may be able to bring a discrimination lawsuit. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of a disability. Most employers with at least 15 employees are covered by EEOC laws, as are most labor unions and employment agencies.

If you are an employee with a disability that requires employer accommodation, discuss your next steps with an experienced Orange County employment lawyer at Hardin & Associates today.