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Don’t block transfer as reasonable accommodation

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

If they’re qualified, disabled employees may be entitled to transfer to an open position as an accommodation. Blocking a transfer may violate the ADA, unless you can show that the transfer would impose an undue hardship.

Recent case: Shirley, a banker for PNC, suffered from attention deficit disorder and had trouble keeping up with her work. She requested a transfer to a less challenging position for which she was qualified.

PNC refused to consider a transfer and told her instead she had to apply. She did but wasn’t picked. She sued, alleging failure to accommodate.

The court said the case could proceed to trial. Reason: A transfer to an open position for which Shirley was qualified would be a reasonable accommodation, unless PNC could show the move would cause undue hardship. It couldn’t. (Kosakoski v. PNC, No. 12-CV-00038, WD PA, 2013)

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