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ADA: Employer gets to choose accommodation

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

It’s the employer that gets to choose a reasonable accommodation for a disabled worker, not the employee. While a disabled worker may prefer one solution over another, that’s not relevant.

Recent case: Caroline was hired to draw blood. When she developed “tennis elbow” after long hours getting blood samples, she took time off. She returned with medical restrictions that limited working with her arm for more than two hours per day.

Caroline requested an accommodation of teaching students during the six hours of each workday that she couldn’t draw blood. Her super­visor told her she could work for the two hours and then take leave for the remaining hours. They got into an argument and she was terminated.

She sued, alleging failure to accommodate. Her claim was dismissed after the court explained that the employer gets to choose. (Overton v. Seabold, No. 12-CV-635, WD TX, 2013)

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