Here’s a bit of good news for employers that try to accommodate disabilities but whose efforts are rejected out of hand: When you offer what looks like a reasonable accommodation and an employee refuses to even try it, you are no longer obligated to retain her.
Simply put, a worker who rejects an offered accommodation is no longer covered by the ADA if she doesn’t even try it first.
Recent case: Silvia worked for the Philadelphia Water Department as a water technology assistant. Her job included using various chemicals to test water samples.
However, Silvia has asthma and sometimes reacts poorly to chemical exposure. In particular, Silvia complained that she got sick from smelling methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE). The Water Department performed a safety audit and concluded that there were no hazardous problems. Even so, it offered Silvia a full-face respirator to use on the job. She tried the respirator a few times, but c...(register to read more)