A Simple Review of The ADA Accommodations Process
March 20, 2023
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. The law requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities to enable them to perform their job duties. The ADA accommodations process can be a complex and challenging one for both employees and employers. In this article, we will discuss the steps involved in the ADA accommodations process and provide some tips for navigating it successfully.
Step 1: Identify the need for an accommodation - The first step in the ADA accommodations process is to identify the need for an accommodation. This can be done by the employee, the employer, or a healthcare professional. The employee then informs the employer they have a disability that requires an accommodation to perform their job duties and provide the necessary documentation. The employer then engages in an interactive process with the employee to determine what accommodations are necessary.
Step 2: Determine the appropriate accommodation - Once the need for an accommodation has been identified, the next step is to determine the appropriate accommodation. The employer works with the employee to identify accommodations that would enable the employee to perform the essential functions of their job. The employer is not required to provide the exact accommodation the employee requests but should consider it and provide an alternative if necessary.
Step 3: Employers assess the hardship involved – Employers are not required to provide accommodations if it causes them undue hardship. In other words, if an accommodation is very expensive or eliminates an essential job function, i.e. if a sales representative can no longer travel to see customers and in-person meetings are essential to the job, the employer is not required to provide the accommodation. Before offering the accommodation, the employer undertakes this assessment consistent with the law.
Step 4: Provide the accommodation - Once the appropriate accommodation has been identified and it is determined not to cause undue hardship to the employer, the employer notifies the employee and provides it. The accommodation may include modifications to the workplace, such as installing a wheelchair ramp or providing assistive technology.
Step 5: Follow-up - After the accommodation has been provided, the employer follows-up with the employee to ensure it is effective. If the accommodation is not working as expected the employer works with the employee to identify alternative accommodations.
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