When your California employer finds out that you need accommodations in order to successfully perform your job duties, he or she should provide these as long as they are reasonable. But what if your supervisor tells you that they are not reasonable, and that making the changes would constitute undue hardship? Is your employer discriminating against you because of your disability?
Here are some facts about reasonable accommodations and undue hardships that are addressed by the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
It is considered reasonable for your employer to make your work area accessible and usable. This may include modification or acquisition of equipment or devices, although it does not include personal use items such as hearing aids or glasses. You may need more frequent breaks to take care of medical needs, leave time for doctor visits, a different schedule or a qualified person to read or interpret work-related information to you. A reasonable accommodation may also be to transfer you to a vacant position.
The law does not require your employer to provide you with an accommodation if you have not asked for it. However, if your supervisor sees that you are struggling to complete your job tasks, he or she may ask if there is anything the company can do to assist you.
The size of the company, its financial resources and the operational structure may turn what would otherwise be reasonable into a hardship. If providing the accommodation for you would cause the company not to meet its production standards, or if it would cost more than is reasonable to expect the company to spend, it may be an undue hardship. Your employer may discuss alternatives with you that cost less if they may work as well as the ones you suggest.
This general information is provided for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.