Determine if an Employee Is Entitled to a Reasonable Accommodation Under the ADA

Key Points

  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), requires that an employer makes reasonable accommodations to help a qualified employee/applicant with disabilities in performing the essential functions of the job.
  • Once an employer is on notice of an accommodation request, the employer should evaluate whether the employee/applicant has an ADA disability, and if so, whether he or she is qualified to perform the prerequisites of the job.
  • If an employee/applicant with a disability cannot perform an essential function of the job due to a disability, the employer should explore whether a reasonable accommodation will allow the employee to perform those duties.
  • An employer must engage the employee/applicant in an open-ended dialogue to determine if a reasonable accommodation exists to enable the employee/applicant to perform the essential functions of the job.
  • An employer may refuse to provide an accommodation to an employee/applicant if the request is unreasonable - such as requests that would eliminate an employee's primary job function or excuse the employee from the performance of the essential functions of the job.

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