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What makes a workplace accommodation reasonable?

Individuals of different physical and mental abilities have the capacity to enrich and improve their places of employment. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, some American workplaces are prohibited from discriminating against individuals with disabilities and must provide them with reasonable accommodations so that they may do their work. Illinois residents who wish to understand if and how the law applies to their employers may wish to contact their local employment law attorneys. This post should not be read or used as legal advice.

Reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act are not black and white. Different individuals of different needs may require very divergent accommodations in order to facilitate their workplace requirements. There are several factors that should be considered to determine if a sought after accommodation is reasonable.

For example, an employee and their employer may need to negotiate an accommodation that meets both of their expectations. While the employee may desire a high cost accommodation that would be financially infeasible for the employer to acquire, the employer may not outright reject any and all requests on the part of the employee for accommodation. Need and ability to provide must be balanced in this assessment.

Additionally, an employer is allowed to consider what impact, if any, the accommodation would have on the structure and success of its operations. If an accommodation would alter the way the entity did business, it may not be considered reasonable. Matters of reasonable accommodations can fall into a complex gray area of employment law. Getting help with these and other disability discrimination and harassment matters can be imperative to supporting the legal rights of workers.

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