Article: What Is “Reasonable” When Evaluating Accommodations?

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The Disabled Workforce

What Is “Reasonable” When Evaluating Accommodations?

Rachel Shaw, MBA, Shaw HR Consulting

@Work Magazine, July 2023

Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers to engage in a timely, good faith interactive process and provide reasonable accommodation. Employers are not required to provide accommodations; they are required to provide “reasonable” accommodations. What, then, makes an accommodation objectively reasonable?

Reasonable accommodations include appropriate measures that allow applicants or employees with a disability to perform a job’s essential functions. Examples include facility modifications, schedule changes, equipment purchases, examination modifications, and policy changes. Failure to provide reasonable accommodations can result in costly and time-intensive lawsuits.

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