10 Important Things To Know About Reasonable Accommodations
Kansas and Missouri laws concerning discrimination in the workplace require employers to make reasonable accommodations for employees with a physical or mental disability unless doing so would “create an undue hardship” for the employer. An employer cannot fire you if you become disabled after being hired, cannot deny you employment during the application process, and cannot refuse to promote you without offering to make reasonable accommodations.
10 Crucial Facts About Reasonable Accommodations
10 important things you need to know before asking your employer or potential employer to provide you with reasonable accommodations.
1) The American Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to employers who have 15 or more full-time employees.
2) To qualify for reasonable accommodations, you must meet the definition of disability found in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which is “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual…”
3) According to the ADA and Kansas and Missouri law, major life activities include, but are not limited to, “caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working.” It also includes the operation of major bodily functions, including bowel and bladder control and other bodily functions that may affect the performance of the job duties.
4) Whether an accommodation is reasonable is decided on a case-by-case basis. It depends on the position the employee is applying for or already holds, and how the disability affects the ability to do the job and the work environment.
5) Examples of reasonable accommodations include, but are not limited to:
This is an incomplete list. Any accommodation may be reasonable depending on the specific circumstances of the employee, the job description, and the needs of the employer.
6) The employee must make the employer aware of the disability and explain how the disability affects their ability to perform the job.
7) After disclosure, there should be a conversation between the employer and employee about what accommodations are needed for the employee to do the job without causing the employer undue hardship.
8) Generally, it is employees or applicants who know best about what accommodations are needed for them to perform the essential tasks of the job.
9) If the disability is not obvious, the employer may require the employee to provide medical documentation of the disability.
10) You may need legal assistance to force the employer to make the legally required reasonable accommodations.
- Making the work environment accessible. This may require making it wheelchair accessible including accessibility to workrooms, break rooms, bathrooms, and parking.
- Accommodating and allowing service animals.
- Allowing for a flexible work schedule. This may mean an employee works longer hours on one day and shorter hours on another. The employee must be allowed time off for medical or therapy appointments.
- Allowing an employee to work from home.
Contact Dugan Schlozman for More Information
If you are experiencing discrimination in your workplace in Kansas City and need help with a reasonable accommodation, or if you would like more information about what the law requires concerning reasonable accommodations, please contact Dugan Schlozman today. You may also call us at 913.322.3528 to schedule a free consultation.