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What Does Reasonable Accommodation Mean?

Businesses and employee need to consult with an employment lawyer to understand their rights and their obligations. One of the most important issues which companies need to address is making sure they make reasonable accommodations when they are required to do so under anti-discrimination laws. 

A failure to make such accommodations could lead to a civil claim by an employee who alleges his or her civil rights were violated. Employees whose employers fail to make accommodations for their protected status should also consult with a legal professional to find out about options including making a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or about filing a claim to receive compensation.

Curley & Rothman, LLC provides assistance to companies and individuals seeking to understand the concept of reasonable accommodations. We can help your company to comply with mandates making it possible for people to work despite disabilities or religious beliefs that could affect their work ability.

We can also help employees to pursue cases when they have been treated inappropriately by their employers. Contact us today to speak with a Conshohocken, PA employment lawyer who can help.

When is Reasonable Accommodation Required?

Reasonable accommodation is required under two primary circumstances. As the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission explains: “Title I of the ADA requires an employer to provide reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities who are employees or applicants for employment, except when such accommodation would cause an undue hardship.”

Reasonable accommodation is also required when an employee has certain religious beliefs. The EEOC states: “The law requires an employer or other covered entity to reasonably accommodate an employee's religious beliefs or practices, unless doing so would cause more than a minimal burden on the operations of the employer's business. This means an employer may be required to make reasonable adjustments to the work environment that will allow an employee to practice his or her religion.”

Laws on reasonable accommodation are intended to protect people from being discriminated against on the basis of their disability or on the basis of their religious background. Employers who fail to follow these laws could face serious legal consequences under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act or under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Employees who believe their employer has failed to make reasonable accommodations can file a complaint with the EEOC or can initiate a civil lawsuit to recover back pay, loss of wages, and other damages caused by their employer's unlawful behavior.

An experienced employment lawyer should be consulted by businesses to determine when accommodation is required and what types of accommodations are considered reasonable. Employees who believe their employer has failed to make reasonable accommodations should also get help in pursuing legal remedies available to them.

What Is Considered a Reasonable Accommodation?

The question of whether something is a reasonable accommodation or not is going to be determined based on the specific situation. If an employer can make accommodations to allow a disabled person to work or a religious person to hold a job and follow his or her religious practices, the employee is expected to do so. However, an employee is not expected to make accommodations which would impose an undue burden on either the company or on other workers.

Common examples of accommodations which the EEOC has considered to be reasonable accommodations include allowing for flexible scheduling; permitting voluntary shift changes among workers who have religious events; job reassignments when a reassignment does not impose more than a minimal burden; and a change to company policies and practices.

Allowing a pregnant worker to do light duty work, for example, or allowing a worker who is religious to follow different rules for headgear or for facial hair are all common examples of the types of accommodations which an employer would generally be expected to make.

How Can a Conshohocken, PA Employment Lawyer Help

Whether you are a company who wants to follow the law or an employee who believes you have been mistreated, you need to get qualified legal help in understanding exactly what a reasonable accommodation is. A Conshohocken, PA employment law attorney will provide you with advice on this issue and on other important matters related to anti-discrimination law.

To learn more about how we help companies and employees with federal and state anti-discrimination cases, give us a call at 610-834-8819 or contact us today. Our legal team is ready to help you, so give us a call now.

Employment LawScott Rothman