Americans with Disabilities Act Claims

5 10, 2019

Your Employer Refused Your Reasonable Accommodation Request. What Now?

By |2019-10-05T00:14:53+00:00October 5th, 2019|Americans with Disabilities Act Claims|0 Comments

Know Your Options—and Protect Your Rights Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employers are required to make reasonable accommodations to assist workers with disabilities in performing their job duties. But what do you do if your employer turns down your request? Here’s a look at how this process is supposed to work—and what you can do if your request is denied. What are Reasonable Accommodations? Under the ADA, a “reasonable accommodation” is a change to the job or environment to accommodate an employee with disabilities. Some very general categories of accommodations an employer might make include: Changing the work environment—such as adding a ramp or elevator, or making a cubicle larger to accommodate a wheelchair. Redistributing job duties so able-bodied coworkers take on some aspects of a disabled worker’s job, while the disabled worker takes on more of the work they can do. Making communications more accessible, such as providing training materials in Braille, including closed-captioning in meeting presentations, or hiring sign language interpreters at company events. Changing policies to accommodate a disabled employee, such as allowing the employee to bring a service dog to work. Modifying work schedules to accommodate a disabled employee. These are all very general [...]

25 02, 2019

How Do You Request Accommodation Under the ADA?

By |2019-03-21T22:19:52+00:00February 25th, 2019|Americans with Disabilities Act Claims|0 Comments

There are no formal procedures, but there are things you should know Perhaps you’ve suffered an illness or injury. If so, like many other Americans, one day you may need to request accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Under the ADA, employers with 15 or more employees—as well as government institutions—are required to provide reasonable accommodation to employees with disabilities so they can perform their jobs. See Also: What is Reasonable Accommodation Under the ADA? If you ever find yourself in this situation, here are a few tips for making the request. You don’t need to use specific phrases. To request an accommodation, all you need to do is tell your employer in plain language. There’s no need to use specific wording like “reasonable accommodation” or bring up the ADA, so if you’ve already made a request using general language, that’s OK. Generally, the best way to do it is to inform your employer of the problem you’re having, and connect it to your medical condition. For instance: “I’m having trouble making it to work at 8 in the morning because of my physical therapy.” “I need three weeks off to recuperate from surgery.” “My wheelchair can’t fit [...]

18 02, 2019

What Are Some Examples of Accommodations Under the ADA?

By |2019-03-05T20:39:23+00:00February 18th, 2019|Americans with Disabilities Act Claims|0 Comments

Job and schedule modifications are only the tip of the iceberg Do you have a physical or mental health condition that makes it hard for you to do your job? The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities in the workplace. But what does that actually mean?  Reasonable accommodation may mean a change to the physical environment or a change to some aspects of the job itself—as long as those changes don’t create an undue burden. Here are some concrete examples of reasonable accommodations for specific conditions—but remember, these are only examples. Each accommodation request must be handled on a case-by-case basis. Wheelchair use: Installing a ramp to make a workplace wheelchair-accessible. Modifying a restroom so a worker with disabilities can use it. Changing the layout of cubicles to provide enough room for a wheelchair to pass. Providing a raised or adjustable desk so that a wheelchair can be used in place of a chair. Hearing or vision impairment: Getting dictation software to help a hearing-impaired worker. Purchasing a screen magnifier for a visually impaired person’s computer station. Chronic or sudden medical conditions: Allowing an extended period of unpaid leave to recover [...]

12 02, 2019

What is Reasonable Accommodation Under the ADA?

By |2019-02-25T14:07:40+00:00February 12th, 2019|Americans with Disabilities Act Claims|0 Comments

What employers do and do not have to do Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employers are required to make certain accommodations for workers with disabilities. “Reasonable accommodation” is the term used for changes made to allow workers with disabilities to do their jobs. Employers are required to make these changes unless they constitute an undue hardship. What Might An Employer Have To Do? Some examples of reasonable accommodations an employer might make include: Workplace modifications. This might include raising a desk so a wheelchair can fit under it; installing a screen magnifier for a visually impaired worker; or making dictation software available for a hearing-impaired employee. Schedule changes. An employer might reorganize a worker’s schedule so they can make regular doctor’s appointments, or increase the amount of unpaid leave an employee can have for medical reasons. Hiring additional staff. This could include hiring interpreters or readers to help an employee, or bringing in a specialist to help with internal training. Changing exam requirements. Being allowed to take the exam orally rather than in writing, or allowing more time to complete the test. Location changes. If you work for a large employer, the employer may be required to transfer [...]

7 06, 2018

Should Job Applicants And Employees Answer Employers’ Disability-Related Questions?

By |2018-06-07T20:57:46+00:00June 7th, 2018|Americans with Disabilities Act Claims|0 Comments

You arrive at a job interview and when greeting your potential employer, he notices your tinted glasses and asks, “Do you have a problem with your vision?” You hesitate to answer but he persists, asking if you would need any accommodations to continue the interview or perform the job. You tell him that your tinted glasses are not for a vision problem but rather due to light sensitivity. He begins to ask more questions about whether this would affect your ability to work, how much work time you lost at your last job, and whether you take any prescription medications. You hesitate to answer but feel intimidated and believe you won’t be offered the job if you don’t respond. After leaving the interview, you wonder if the employer was entitled to ask you such questions. One way that the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) protects the rights of job applicants and employees is by limiting disability-related questions during the job application process and employment. This is to prevent employers from discriminating against qualified applicants and employees who have a disability. Disability-related inquiries include direct or indirect questions relating to an applicant’s or employee’s actual or perceived disability as well as [...]

24 05, 2018

Are You Entitled To a Reasonable Accommodation?

By |2018-05-24T14:18:19+00:00May 24th, 2018|Americans with Disabilities Act Claims|0 Comments

What is a reasonable accommodation? A reasonable accommodation means a change to the job or working environment that enables an employee with a disability to perform the essential functions of the job, or that enables an applicant with a disability to apply for a job. To be eligible for a reasonable accommodation under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), an employee must be qualified for the job and have a disability caused by a medical condition that is covered by the statute. The ADA does not specify the medical conditions that qualify as disabilities under the statute. Instead, the statute requires that an employee must have a physical or mental condition that substantially limits a major life activity, a history of disability, or be regarded by the employer as having a disability. What types of medical conditions qualify for a reasonable accommodation? Some employees have medical conditions that require an employer to provide well-established reasonable accommodations such as making the workplace accessible or providing alternate communication methods or devices for visually-impaired or hearing-impaired applicants and employees. However, there are many other medical conditions that may be the basis for a reasonable accommodation. It is important to note that some people [...]

10 05, 2018

Can You Be Fired “At-Will” in Pennsylvania?

By |2018-05-10T18:21:49+00:00May 10th, 2018|Americans with Disabilities Act Claims, Wrongful Termination & Retaliation|0 Comments

In most states, including Pennsylvania, employment is “at-will.” In general, an employer can fire an employee from his or her job at any time and for any reason without recourse by the employee. On the other end of the relationship, an employee can also quit his or her job at any time for any reason without recourse by the employer. There are a few important exceptions to the at-will doctrine. An employer cannot fire an employee for discriminatory or retaliatory reasons. Employees are protected from such actions by employment discrimination statutes and other laws. Also, an employer cannot fire an employee if doing so violates the terms of an employment contract or other contract that sets the terms of the employment relationship. An employment contract can alter the at-will doctrine An employer and employee may enter into a contract that provides conditions of employment that supersede the at-will doctrine. For example, an employment contract can provide that the employee may only be fired for cause or specify the duration of employment. Another example of a contract that alters the at-will doctrine is a collective bargaining agreement that covers union employees and spells out the specific circumstances under which an employee [...]

4 05, 2018

Interference With Disability Rights Under The ADA

By |2018-05-04T13:31:04+00:00May 4th, 2018|Americans with Disabilities Act Claims|0 Comments

What is the difference between retaliation and interference with disability rights? In addition to prohibiting employers from “retaliating” against an employee for asserting his or her disability rights, the Americans With Disability Act (ADA) includes a provision prohibiting employers from “interfering” with an employee’s disability rights. Retaliation occurs when an employer takes “adverse action” against an employee with a disability for exercising rights that are protected under the ADA. Retaliation includes actions such as firing, demoting, providing a negative performance review, transferring the employee or cutting the employees’ hours. The interference provision prohibits conduct that is reasonably likely to interfere with statutorily protected or granted ADA rights. Interference includes coercion, threats, or intimidation by an employer against an employee who expresses an intent or attempts to assert his or her rights under the ADA. The interference provision protects employees from being deterred from asserting their disability rights. While similar to retaliation, the interference provision is broader, encompassing activity that may not rise to the level of the adverse action required to establish retaliation. An employer’s threats or coercion do not need to be carried out in order to violate the ADA’s interference provision. Nor do the threats need to actually [...]

6 04, 2018

Can You Be Fired For Attending Rehab for Alcoholism?

By |2018-04-06T13:27:51+00:00April 6th, 2018|Americans with Disabilities Act Claims, Family and Medical Leave Act Claims|0 Comments

Is Alcoholism A Disability? Alcoholism can be considered a covered disability under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). An employer may not discriminate against an individual based on a history of alcoholism if that person has been rehabilitated and no longer uses alcohol. In the absence of undue hardship, the employer must allow certain employees with a history of alcoholism to take leave to attend a rehabilitation program. An individual who returns to work and later has a relapse may also be protected under the ADA. The ADA protects alcoholics who are in recovery and no longer using alcohol. An individual who is actively using alcohol is not protected by the ADA. Employers are not required to hire or continue employment of an individual who is actively using alcohol. In addition to the protections provided by the ADA, the Family Medical and Leave Act (FMLA) protects an eligible employee from being fired for taking leave to attend a rehabilitation program. The FMLA provides eligible employees with unpaid, job-protected leave each year for up to 12 weeks to address serious health conditions. Alcoholism rehabilitation and treatment for alcoholism that involves inpatient care or continuing treatment may be considered a health condition [...]

16 03, 2018

Can A Disabled Employee Request To Work From Home?

By |2018-03-16T13:14:21+00:00March 16th, 2018|Americans with Disabilities Act Claims|0 Comments

Is working at home a reasonable accommodation? An employee’s disability or medical condition may temporarily or permanently prevent the employee from accessing or reporting to the job site, or from performing his or her job functions there. If the employee can perform his or her job at home, without undue hardship to the employer, the employee can request to work at home as a reasonable accommodation. A reasonable accommodation is a modification that enables the employee to perform the essential job functions of his or her position. The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) requires covered employers to provide reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities. Importantly, because working at home is a type of modification of workplace policy under the ADA, a disabled employee may request to work from home, even if other employees are not permitted to do so. What happens after an employee requests to work from home as a reasonable accommodation? Generally, following the employee’s request for a reasonable accommodation to work at home due to his or her medical condition or disability, the employer and employee engage in the “interactive process,” a meeting during which they strive to reach an agreement. The ADA requires that an employee [...]