The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the federal law that prohibits disability discrimination. It applies to employers that have a minimum of 15 employees. Disability discrimination occurs when an adverse employment decision is made due to a worker’s disability. Under the ADA, you are entitled to a reasonable accommodation if you meet the definition of disability. If you are concerned about reasonable accommodations, you should discuss your situation with experienced Washington D.C. ADA claims attorney Matthew Famiglietti.Reasonable Accommodations in Washington D.C. Workplaces
Under the ADA, reasonable accommodations are adjustments to a job that would allow a qualified worker who has a disability to obtain and do a job. Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities unless doing so would pose an undue hardship. In order to be considered a hardship, the accommodation must trigger serious expenses or hardships; it is not enough if they present a minor inconvenience or slight cost.
The ADA requires reasonable accommodations as they connect with three aspects of employment: (1) making sure there is equal opportunity in the application process, (2) allowing a qualified person with a disability to perform essential job functions; and (3) making it possible for an employee with a disability to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment.
It can be stressful to ask for a reasonable accommodation, even when you are entitled to one by law, especially if you have an invisible disability. Our experienced lawyer may be able to represent you through this process.What Accommodations are Appropriate?
The nature of your disability will determine the accommodations that are reasonable under federal law. Depending on the situation, accommodations in Washington D.C. workplaces that could be appropriate include:
- Job restructuring.
- Making existing facilities accessible.
- Part time or modified work schedules.
- Buying new equipment or modifying existing equipment.
- Training materials.
- Changing tests.
- Modification of a policy to permit a service animal in a business environment.
- Adjustment of work schedules to allow those with chronic illnesses.
- Offering qualified readers or interpreters.
- Physical alterations to the space.
- Installation of a ramp or modification of a restroom.
- Modification of a workspace layout.
- Making sure computer software can be accessed.
- Using videophones to facilitate communications.
- Making sure software is accessible.
- Changing when or how an essential or marginal function is performed.
Your employer isn’t required to reallocate essential job functions in order to provide you with a reasonable accommodation, but it may if it wishes.
Factors that will need to be considered in figuring out whether providing an accommodation would present an undue hardship include the costs of accommodations; your employer’s financial resources; and size and the structure and nature of the operation. When a particular accommodation would be an undue hardship, the employer should try to find another accommodation that would work for your disability and wouldn’t present a hardship.Failure to Provide a Reasonable Accommodation
You should not be denied a reasonable accommodation unless providing one would cause an undue hardship. Your employer’s failure to provide a reasonable accommodation may be disability discrimination for which you can pursue damages. For instance, you may be able to bring a wrongful termination lawsuit if you were fired because your employer didn’t want to give you a reasonable accommodation though it could have done. However, it is important to note that, under the ADA, you must be able to perform essential functions with or without reasonable accommodations.
When assessing whether you are entitled to a reasonable accommodation, our attorney will carefully examine your job to figure out whether your employer has adequately evaluated job functions or tasks in making its determination. For instance, we’ll need to consider whether the reason your job exists is to perform the function, whether other employees are available to perform the job function, and the degree of skill or expertise needed to do the job.Consult a Seasoned ADA Claims Lawyer
As a disabled or differently abled worker, you must be given the same chance to succeed in the workplace as others who are not disabled. If you believe you were entitled to a reasonable accommodation, but your employer denied you one, even though doing so wouldn’t have posed an undue hardship, you should discuss your situation with our experienced Washington D.C. ADA claims attorney Matthew T. Famiglietti. Mr. Famiglietti represents students and their families in D.C., Virginia, and Maryland. Complete our online form or call the Law Office of Matthew T. Famiglietti at (202) 669-5880.