When Does an Employer Have to Make Accommodations Under ADA?

An Employee Benefits FAQ with M. Thomas Langan II.

The ADA applies to state and local governments, as well as private employers with 15 or more employees. The ADA generally prohibits employers from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities.

One of the main requirements of the ADA is for employers to make reasonable accommodations for the known disabilities of qualified individuals. The disability must be known; therefore, this requires the employee to notify the employer.

Once known, the employer has to make reasonable accommodations, which is defined as adjustments or modifications to the job that would allow the individual to perform essential work functions.

Employers are not obligated to make an accommodation if it gives rise to an undue hardship, which is defined as an accommodation requiring significant difficulty or expense.

Overall, the ADA requires most employers to provide for reasonable accommodations to allow qualified individuals with disabilities to perform essential work functions.

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