The Americans with Disabilities Act requires employers to provide workers with reasonable accommodations if it does not cause an undue hardship. Individuals who require some assistance to perform tasks may ask for it without fear of losing their jobs.
An accommodation that does not cause an undue hardship would include making a minor adjustment to a work area. A supervisor who instead harasses or mistreats an employee because of a disability has violated federal labor law, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
An employee may supply proof that he or she requires a reasonable accommodation
Medical records proving an impairment generally require an employer to make a reasonable effort to comply with an employee’s accommodation. If an individual, for example, could better perform his or her work by adding a desk lamp or a clearer sound system, the request is reasonable.
A disability that flares up periodically may require a workplace adjustment even if the employee takes time off for a medical leave. Other employees who have similar impairments may then also benefit from the accommodation.
Package delivery company settles discrimination claim for $3.3 million
More than 200 package handlers working across the nation filed a legal action against their employer alleging disability discrimination. An EEOC investigation discovered that hard-of-hearing and deaf package handlers did not receive a reasonable accommodation when requested.
As reported by Business Insurance, the company agreed to settle the claim for $3.3 million and agreed to modify their equipment. Employees may now use equipment with captioned videos, American Sign Language interpretations and other nonaudible accommodations including visual warning lights and vibrating cues.
When employers fail to provide reasonable accommodations, workers have a right to file a complaint. Disability discrimination may, however, require a legal action to compel a company to comply with labor laws.