The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) protects individuals with disabilities from discrimination and mistreatment in the workplace and elsewhere as well. The ADA also allows employees and qualified applicants to ask for reasonable accommodations in the workplace. If your employer fails to comply with your request, then they can face harsh penalties for violating the ADA.
Reasonable accommodations are one thing guaranteed by the ADA. While the definition of reasonable can vary, below are some of the more common approved accommodations that are considered reasonable and acceptable. Reasonable should be affordable and not time consuming, so that can vary greatly from one business to another.
If you have concerns, be sure to talk with your employer about your situation. Also, be sure to maintain records and documentation to support your claim. You will need supporting evidence to support your claim and to show that you followed the proper protocol. Then you will need to show how your rights were violated and how the ADA was ignored, and that the employer didn’t try to help you.
Statements from coworkers may also be helpful, and other coworkers may have experienced the same challenges and difficulties. The more documentation and evidence that you can gather, the more likely you are to have a strong claim against your employer and succeed in recovering damages.
What Are Some Reasonable Accommodations?
There are many kinds of reasonable accommodations. Here are just a few of them:
- Modified equipment
- Role adjustments
- More time for training materials and tests
- Allowing additional unpaid medical leave
Some specific examples of accommodations may include a screen reader or magnifier for someone who has vision loss or a TTY phone for an employee who has hearing loss. If you are in a wheelchair, you can ask your employer to adjust the height on the desks to better accommodate the wheelchair and have equipment so you can easily reach and access it.
For example, if your employer cannot afford a specific accommodation, you may be able to work with them to come up with an affordable, creative solution. If you believe that you have been mistreated because of your disability, speak with an employment law attorney who handles ADA cases.
There are Limitations
You should note that the ADA allows for reasonable accommodations. These must be affordable and not time-consuming to implement. Of course, larger companies with higher budgets can afford more expensive solutions.
Any company that employs 15 or more people must adhere to the ADA, but what is considered reasonable to them could vary. You may have to be creative in helping them come up with an effective solution.
Money, time and effort required could make something that you thought was reasonable no longer reasonable for your employer. As previously mentioned, the company size and income also come into play. If you believe that your request for ADA accommodations was reasonable but your employer denied it and violated the ADA, then you need to enlist the help of an employment law attorney.
As an example, your employer may not be able to afford a special vehicle for you to drive or widen all the doorways in their office, but they may be able to accommodate you in your specific office space and update a vehicle to serve your needs. If they decline to try anything and allege that nothing is reasonable, then you may be able to prove that the ADA has been violated and then pursue a claim against them.
Speak With an Employment Law Attorney
If you have been the victim of ADA violations, or if you believe your employer didn’t put forth enough effort to reasonably accommodate you and your needs, then you should speak with an employment law attorney who handles such cases in your area. An attorney is familiar with both state and federal laws and will know if your employer is in violation of these laws.
When you talk with the lawyer, you will need to discuss how and when they expect payment for their services. Some employment law attorneys take cases on a contingency basis. That means those lawyers will not be paid until you win your claim and recover your damages. To share the details of your case, complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page. Someone with an employment law office who handles claims pertaining to ADA violations will get in touch with you.