Workplace discrimination is incredibly common. Although some of this discrimination is hidden, other times its pretty obvious. But there are some situations where the actions in question are on the line, which can lead to a lot of questions being asked and legal action being taken. This is often the case when dealing with reasonable accommodation requests and arguments that such requests constitute an undue hardship.
Reasonable accommodations under the ADA
The Americans with Disabilities Act provides extensive protections to disabled workers. Among them is the requirement that certain employers provide reasonable accommodations to allow disabled individuals to enjoy equal employment opportunities in the workplace. These accommodations can affect every aspect of the employment process, from hiring to ensuring that job duties can be completed appropriately.
Reasonable accommodations and undue hardship
Although an employer often simply complies with a reasonable accommodation request, it isn’t always required to do so. An employer can avoid having to comply with a reasonable accommodation request if it can show that doing so would result in an undue hardship.
But what constitutes an undue hardship? When this question arises, a number of considerations have to be taken into account. This includes the employer’s financial resources and whether the accommodation disrupts business practices. So, in order to determine if an employer’s claim of undue hardship is justified, you may have to do some research to figure out if it really is going to strain the business, the facility or your employer’s operating procedures.
What should you do if your reasonable accommodation request is denied?
If your reasonable accommodation request is denied, you should persist. After all, your employer might be able to find an alternative accommodation that is less burdensome but just as helpful to you. So, be willing to engage in a little bit of negotiation with your employer to see what you can get.
However, if you try to work with your employer and still see your reasonable accommodation denied, you may need to start thinking about your next steps. This may include considering whether pursuing a workplace discrimination claim is appropriate.
Building your case
If you suspect that you’ve been subjected to workplace discrimination, you need to be prepared to gather the evidence that you need to support your claim. Therefore, as you navigate your claim, think about retaining all communications that you’ve had with your employer, specifically those pertaining to your medical condition and your reasonable accommodation request. These might help demonstrate how you were treated unfairly on account of your medical condition.
You’ll also want to be able to show how the discriminatory treatment has negatively impacted you. This may include being denied a job opportunity, being passed over for promotion or being fired. If any of those things happen, be prepared to keep track of any financial losses that you suffer as a result as well as how the adverse employment decision makes you feel.
Do you need a legal ally on your side?
Navigating a reasonable accommodation request issue and workplace discrimination can be stressful and complicated. But these aren’t issues that you have to face on your own. Skilled legal advocates who are well versed in employment law can help analyze your case and develop the legal strategy that you need on your side. Hopefully, then you can feel confident that you are well positioned to find some accountability and recover the compensation that you deserve.