What to know about reasonable accommodations at work

On Behalf of | Mar 22, 2024 | Employee Rights

Employers are required to make certain adjustments to an employee’s or an applicant’s job or work environment to make it possible for them to perform their duties. The State of New York has a Reasonable Accommodation Policy and Procedures that employers must follow to ensure equal employment opportunities for persons with disability.

This policy protects any person with a ” physical, mental or medical impairment” or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth.

Examples of reasonable accommodations

Anything that an employer can do to make things easier for an employee or an applicant who qualifies as a person with a disability may be considered a reasonable accommodation. These include:

  • Adjusting their work schedule
  • Acquiring or modifying equipment
  • Making facilities more readily accessible
  • Restructuring their job
  • Adjusting examinations, training materials or policies
  • Providing readers, interpreters, assistive technology and so on

If an employee or an applicant needs an accommodation, they should request it verbally or in writing.

It may have its limitations

While employers should provide reasonable accommodations, the policy has limitations. For example, an employer may not be required to provide an employee with personal items, such as wheelchairs or hearing aids.

Further, an employer may not be required to make a reasonable accommodation that poses an “undue hardship” (a significant difficulty or expense to the employer). Upon request, employers typically consider several relevant factors to determine if an accommodation will result in undue hardship.

If you believe your current or potential employer unfairly denied your request for a reasonable accommodation, learn more about your case to fight for your rights.   

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