Feds Issue Fact Sheet On Teleworking As ADA Accommodation
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
February 6, 2003
WASHINGTON, DC--The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released a fact sheet Monday for employers who are thinking about having workers with disabilities do some or all of their work from home -- a practice known as "teleworking" or "telecommuting".
The fact sheet uses a step-by-step approach to explain how employers may support a person to work from home as a reasonable accommodation for their disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Many businesses across the country already allow or even encourage workers to telework -- to use computers, telephones and other technologies to perform work somewhere other than a company office.
"Advances in technology are making telework an increasingly important option for employers who want to attract and retain a productive workforce," said EEOC Chair Cari M. Dominguez in a press statement. "For some people with disabilities, telework may actually be the difference between having the opportunity to be among an employer's best and brightest workers and not working at all."
The fact sheet notes that not every employee with a disability needs or wants to work from home, and that not every job can be performed at home. However, workers with disabilities may request teleworking as one option for a reasonable accommodation.
Employers and employees should discuss the need for telework as a workplace accommodation, and whether all or some of the job tasks can be performed from the employee's home.
Monday's announcement was scheduled to coincide with the second anniversary of President George W. Bush's New Freedom Initiative, his administration's plan for "the full integration of people with disabilities into all aspects of American life", the statement read.
"Work At Home/Telework as a Reasonable Accommodation" (EEOC)