Sometimes, employers have to stand their ground and refuse to try an unworkable accommodation.
Recent case: Henry Kroeger was 65 when he applied for the job of communications operator in Monterey. The job involved serving as a radio dispatcher in emergency situations.
Kroeger has a hearing impairment, which was discovered during his post-offer, pre-employment physical. Kroeger demanded that his hearing loss be accommodated and suggested that turning up the volume on emergency calls would do the trick. Monterey refused, because it would disrupt the workplace and would impair Kroeger’s ability to do a job requiring concentration and quick communication.
He sued for failure to accommodate his disability. The court took the employer’s side and dismissed the case. (Kroeger v. Parks and Recreation, No. C064005, Court of Appeal of California, 3rd Appellate District, 2011)