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What is considered reasonable accommodations under the ADA?

Indiana employers are required by federal law to provide reasonable accommodations to employees who suffer from certain types of impairments. However, they are not required to make an accommodation that would cause the employer undue hardship.

The Americans with Disabilities Act provides specific definitions for "reasonable accommodations." Generally, an accommodation is a change in the working environment or in the manner in which work procedures are handled that gives an impaired individual equal employment opportunities. Due to the discrimination that disabled individuals may confront, reasonable accommodations are required. Barriers that prevent employees from working may be physical in nature or rules. These accommodations are required even if the employee is a part-time employee or probationary employee. However, an employee has the duty to inform the employer of his or her need for an accommodation.

There are three categories of these accommodations. The first is a modification in the application process that permits a disabled individual to be considered for the position that he or she otherwise qualifies for. The second type of modification is one in which the work environment is altered or the process to complete a job is altered, enabling an impaired individual to perform the essential job functions. The third type of accommodation is a modification that allows a disabled employee to enjoy the same types of privileges and benefits that unimpaired employees are able to enjoy. Some accommodations may include job restructuring, altering a work schedule, making facilities accessible, modifying equipment, reassigning employees to a vacant position or changing policies.

Employees who have disabilities may be entitled to changes in the work environment or protocol that an employer carries through the business An employment law attorney can provide more information about the scope of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Source: The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, "Enforcement Guidance: Reasonable Accommodation and Undue Hardship Under the Americans with Disabilities Act", October 12, 2014

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