Refusing reasonable accommodations is disability discrimination

| May 26, 2021 | Disability Discrimination |

Those with injuries and disabling medical conditions can’t always do the same tasks as their co-workers and peers. Health concerns can limit someone’s ability to perform demanding job responsibilities and make it harder for them to gain or retain employment. 

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) helped level the playing field for those with disabling medical conditions by establishing rights for those workers with serious medical conditions. These rights afford disabled individuals certain support that could help them fulfill the role they qualify for.

A business needs to actively avoid discriminating against workers with disabling medical conditions, including offering reasonable accommodations that allow a worker to take a job or stay on a job after their diagnosis.

When can an employer refuse reasonable accommodations? 

Different medical conditions require different forms of support for a worker test perform job responsibilities. Common accommodation requests include assistive technology, the installation of wheelchair ramps or even more accessible bathrooms. 

Companies subject to ADA rules include any businesses with more than 15 employees. They should try their best to approve accommodation requests by both current workers and qualified job applicants. Companies can sometimes refuse accommodation requests. Generally, a company can only do so by demonstrating how fulfilling such a request would cause the company undue hardship

Financial expenses alone aren’t enough of a hardship to justify a company’s refusal in most cases, although an extreme expense in unique situations could be an adequate justification. Employees denied accommodations when they would like to keep working may have no choice but to take legal action against the company that won’t support them on the job.

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