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Can you deny a reasonable accommodation request?

Your employees have a lot of protections under state and federal law. You need to know these laws and how they apply to your business so that you can avoid running afoul of them and being hit with a lawsuit. But knowing the law can also help you figure out how to protect your business operations so that you aren’t hamstrung by employee demands. This may be the case when it comes to a reasonable accommodation request under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Limitations on reasonable accommodation requests

Under the ADA, an employer is generally required to make an accommodation for a worker to allow him or her to better perform the job duties at hand. For example, an individual who is undergoing medical treatment may need an accommodation pertaining to his work schedule, or a worker may request a different desk that accommodates a wheelchair. These are reasonable requests.

However, some requests made under the ADA are extremely expensive or are disruptive to business operations. In these circumstances, you might be justified in denying the accommodation request by claiming that it creates an undue hardship on you as the employer.

Proving undue hardship

Of course, if you’re going to deny one of these requests then you need to be prepared to prove why it’s an undue hardship. This can include anything that speaks to the following:

  • The cost of the accommodation
  • The business’s financial resources
  • The size of your business
  • The type of work that your business performs
  • How the accommodation will affect business operations

Make sure that you gather enough information to be able to speak to these factors and be as clear as possible when discussing how your business operations will be disrupted.

Do you need help with your case?

Running astray of federal employment laws can spell big trouble for you and your business. But so, too, can complying with an unreasonable accommodation request. It’s an oftentimes difficult line to walk, which is why you might feel more comfortable navigating the issue with an experienced employment law professional by your side.