As an employer, you are expected to know about a host of employment laws. One that you might not be too familiar with is the reasonable accommodation law for people who have disabilities. In the simplest of terms, you have to provide employees who are disabled with special accommodations unless doing to so would present an undue hardship to your company.
There aren’t any hard rules that you will find about what is expected and what isn’t. Instead, your company’s specifics will play a large role in what you are required to do. Typically, larger businesses are able to make larger accommodations than a smaller one. This is because they might have more wiggle room in the budget and may have other workers who can lend a hand when needed.
One thing to remember is that if you do claim an undue hardship, you must be prepared to try to find an accommodation that you can provide for the employee. In some cases, this might be sharing the cost of the accommodation with the employee. While this might not be ideal, it can help some small business owners.
When you are approached for an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act, you should determine whether the person meets the definition of disabled. This means that they have a mental or physical condition that makes performing major life activities difficult or impossible. In some cases, the individual may provide a doctor’s statement regarding the disability and the needed accommodations. Take that information to heart, but be sure that you are treating the situation delicately to ensure that you aren’t violating any applicable laws.