Efficient And Effective Business Litigation

Employers do not need to suffer an undue hardship under the ADA

On Behalf of | Jul 27, 2022 | Employment Law |

As an employer you want to do right by your employees. You want your workplace to be a productive and supportive environment for all. For disabled employees, this may mean providing a reasonable accommodation unless doing so would cause you to suffer an undue hardship.

What is a reasonable accommodation?

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), disabled workers have the right to be provided with reasonable accommodations that would permit them to perform their job duties as well as enjoy all the benefits and privileges of employment.

Reasonable accommodations are not seen as “special treatment.” Instead, they are “productivity enhancers,” that benefit all employees in the workplace. For example, all employees benefit from accessible bathrooms and flexible scheduling. Oftentimes a job accommodation can be provided for little cost and involves only minor changes in the workplace.

What is an undue hardship?

However, sometimes even a seemingly reasonable accommodation can cost you as an employer a significant amount of money and resources. Employers do not have to provide disability accommodations that would cause them to suffer an undue hardship. This is based on several factors such as:

  • The nature of the accommodation
  • How much the accommodation would cost you as an employer
  • Your overall financial resources
  • The overall size of your business
  • The type of operation of your business; and
  • The geographic separateness of your business

There are other factors that may be examined to determine if you would suffer an undue hardship if you were asked to provide a specific reasonable accommodation. However, you may still have to provide an alternative accommodation.

Fears of prejudice or the employee morale cannot form the basis of undue hardship. However, if an accommodation would be highly disruptive, this could form the basis of an undue hardship claim.

Ultimately, as an employer you do not need to endure an undue hardship. Still, you will have to make sure you have a good understanding of the ADA and how it affects you. Some employers find that discussing their situation with an attorney helps them better understand how the ADA and reasonable accommodations apply to them.