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What is a reasonable accommodation?

Posted by Anita F. O'Meara, Esq. | Feb 15, 2022 | 0 Comments

Employees are one of the most important assets your business has. When you can create a supportive environment for your employees with disabilities, you can create a welcoming workplace for all of your staff.

Part of supporting an employee with a disability is creating accommodations for employees who need them. The challenge that comes with reasonable accommodations is agreeing on something that works for your employee and for your business.

Here's what you should know about making a reasonable accommodation for employees with disabilities.

Performing essential functions

A reasonable accommodation is meant to support someone who has the skills and abilities to perform the essential functions of a specific job but just need a little help. The job's essential functions are the core elements that make the job valuable to you as an employer.

As you consider whether a task is an essential function, you should consider factors such as:

  • The purpose of the position
  • The degree of expertise required to perform the function

You need to provide a reasonable accommodation for employees who can perform the job's essential functions but who need support to accommodate their disability.

What is reasonable?

There are limitations to the accommodations you are required to make to support your employees. A reasonable accommodation is one that is supportive of the employee without becoming an undue hardship on your business. Typically, reasonable accommodations include such things as:

  • Screen readers for someone with limited vision
  • Allowing service animals
  • Work materials in alternative formats
  • Accessible parking

Typically, a reasonable accommodation is a minor change to help an employee meet the same requirements of another employee of the same skillset. By making accommodations, you can encourage a welcoming and supportive work environment for everyone.

About the Author

Anita F. O'Meara, Esq.

PRACTICE AREAS: Estate Planning, ADministration and litigation, and Commercial litigation Biography:  Anita Fulwiler O'Meara concentrates on providing estate planning and probate services throughout Southeaster Pennsylvania, including Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, and Montgomery, counties, wit...


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