White Paper published by The HR Specialist, copyright 2007
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) isn't an open-ended demand that employers do whatever is necessary to accommodate workers with disabilities. The law requires employers to make "reasonable" accommodations to allow a disabled worker to perform the essential functions of his job.
The key question: What is considered "reasonable"?
Two important terms to understand are "proportionality" and "undue hardship." These concepts serve to limit the scope of accommodation.
Clearly, any accommodation that bankrupts your company is unreasonable. Employers should measure costs versus benefits in assessing the merits of an accommodation request. For example, one court required an employer to remodel all bathrooms for wheelchair access, while another rejected a paraplegic worker's request that her employer lower a sink and counter in the office k...(register to read more)