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Document accommodation delays beyond your control

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The ADA requires employers to try to accommodate disabilities so workers can perform the essential functions of their jobs. Accommodation can include special equipment.

But employers must not delay the accommodations process. If it takes too long to get the equipment a disabled employee needs, employers may be liable.

That’s why it’s important to track efforts to get the right equipment.

Recent case: Shirley Delgado sued the Triborough Bridges and Tunnels Authority after she said it took too long to get a large, flat-screen computer monitor. Delgado needed the monitor because a smaller one aggravated her disability, causing headaches, blurred vision and dizziness.

But the transit authority came ready to prove it had made every effort to get her the monitor she wanted—a 19-inch model. In fact, everyone else received 17-inch models, including Delgado’s supervisors. Although it took two months for the monitor to arrive, the delay was due to a back order, not because the authority delayed. The court dismissed her case, reasoning that her employer acted promptly. (Delgado v. Triborough Bridges and Tunnels Authority, No. 05-Civ-8031, SD NY, 2007)

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