Reasonable Accommodations and Employer Compliance
Under both the Americans with Disabilities Act as Amended (ADAA) and the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA), an employer with 15 or more employees has a duty to make a "reasonable accommodation" to avoid discriminating against an employee or job applicant with a physical or mental disability. Employment agencies have the same duty, as do labor organizations, who must make reasonable accommodations for union members with disabilities.
What is a reasonable accommodation?
With regard to disability, reasonable accommodation means steps which must be taken to accommodate the known physical or mental limitations of a qualified disabled person unless doing so would cause significant difficulty or expense for the employer (undue hardship). This includes, but is not limited to, (nor does it necessarily require):
- making facilities readily accessible to and usable by people with disabilities,
- job restructuring,
- modified work schedules,
- reassignment to a vacant position,
- acquisition or modification of equipment or devices,
- granting a leave of absence and the provision of aides on a temporary or periodic basis.
An employer is not necessarily required to furnish the accommodation preferred by a job applicant or employee, provided that the accommodation offered is effective. An accommodation is effective if:
- it gives an applicant with a disability equal opportunity to participate in the job application and hiring process;
- it removes barriers to performance of essential job functions; or if
- it allows an employee with a disability equal access to the privileges and benefits of employment.
Read more about reasonable accommodations in the FAQ section.