As an Ohio employer, you’re likely aware that you must abide by many laws and regulations while hiring, firing and throughout the time an employee is on staff. You may incur costly penalties and fines if you don’t.
One law, which is Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), requires virtually every employer to offer disabled workers reasonable accommodations. Understanding what this means is very important.
When must an employer provide reasonable accommodations?
You may be surprised about your obligation to offer reasonable accommodations at every stage of the employment process. For example, once you’re aware that someone has a disability, you may need to offer accommodations:
- During the application process: An employer must enable a disabled worker to perform their job duties if they’re qualified to carry them out.
- The course of a worker’s employment: Disabled employees should enjoy equal employment privileges and benefits to non-disabled workers.
A reasonable accommodation is anything that will “level the playing field” for an applicant or employee without putting an undue burden on your company.
What are examples of reasonable accommodations?
Reasonable accommodations include many kinds of productivity enhancers, including things like ramps, ergonomic workstations and disability-accessible restrooms. So can things like enhanced lighting, adaptive software for the computer and other advanced. Similarly, the implementation of modified or part-time work schedules may fall under the category of reasonable accommodations.
What if you’re accused of failing to provide reasonable accommodations?
The modifier “reasonable” used to describe the required accommodations you must make can come off as vague, and misunderstandings can abound. You should consult with a civil litigation attorney if you’re facing an employee lawsuit over the failure to provide reasonable accommodations.