Reasonable Accommodations for Disabilities

Choose an Experienced Lawyer for Your Disability Law Needs


The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (“ADAAA”), the Rehabilitation Act, and their respective regulations lay out employee and employer rights and responsibilities in the workplace. Yet, disability law is one of the most complex and misunderstood areas of employment law. In many situations, neither the employee nor the employer fully understands their rights and responsibilities, which can have disastrous consequences.


In general, a qualified employee with a disability is entitled to an accommodation at work that will enable her to perform the essential functions of her job.


Step I: The employee must establish that she has a disability.


When it is not apparent that an employee has a disability, it is the employee’s responsibility to provide the employer with sufficient information to prove she has a disability as defined by the law.


Step II: The employee and employer should discuss the employee’s workplace needs and possible accommodations.


The employer and the employee should then engage in an interactive dialogue to determine what accommodations are necessary.


Step III: If the employer does not agree with the employee’s requested accommodation, the employer must explore alternative accommodations and discuss those options with the employee.


An employee is entitled to an accommodation that will enable her to perform the essential functions of her position, but not necessarily the accommodation she prefers. In some circumstances, an employee may be entitled to reassignment as a last resort.


Step IV: If the employer does not provide any reasonable accommodation, the employer may be liable.


Only if an employer can establish that accommodating a qualified disabled employee will be an undue hardship – which is not easy to prove – can an accommodation be denied.


Kalijarvi, Chuzi, Newman & Fitch can help you navigate these difficult and often-contentious waters.


We have expertise in every aspect of disability law, including:


  • Providing assistance requesting and pursuing a reasonable accommodation
  • Determining whether the employee is a qualified disabled employee entitled to accommodation
  • Working with medical providers to ensure adequate documentation of a disability
  • Obtaining and reviewing supporting medical documentation
  • Engaging in the interactive process with the employer
  • Ensuring that employers know the steps they must take when they believe an employee may have a disability or when confronted with a request for reasonable accommodation
  • Determining whether an accommodation would be an undue burden
  • Litigating on behalf of employees who are unlawfully denied reasonable accommodations

Call (202) 331-9260 or contact us here.