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LEGAL TOPICS
Right to Reasonable Accommodation in Employment

Anti-discrimination laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination require employers to provide reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities, unless doing so would cause an undue hardship.

  • Reasonable accommodations are work changes that help workers with disabilities participate in the application process or perform essential job functions.
  • Examples of reasonable accommodations include restructuring a job, taking leave, modifying work schedules or policies, and reassigning an employee to a vacant position.
  • An employer is not required to provide a reasonable accommodation if it would cause undue hardship. Depending on the resources and circumstances of the employer, some accommodations may be too costly, substantial, or disruptive.

Requesting a Reasonable Accommodation

You should engage in an informal and interactive process with your employer to request a reasonable accommodation. The disability and need for accommodation must be known to the employer. Generally, the employee will make this request.

  • To request an accommodation, you should let the employer know that you need a change at work because of a medical condition. You can use plain English and do not need to mention the ADA or the term “reasonable accommodation.” However, it is wise to provide a written request that makes your request clear. Save a copy of your written request.
  • Your employer may need to ask you questions to identify an effective accommodation. Your employer may also ask you for reasonable documentation about your disability and limitations.
  • Your employer may choose among several reasonable accommodations as long as the accommodation is effective.
  • Your employer should act promptly in responding to a request for reasonable accommodation.

For more information about requesting reasonable accommodations:

10/1/2013
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