What is considered an “unreasonable hardship”?
The EEOC defines “undue hardship” as it relates to ADA as
“Undue hardship refers not only to financial difficulty, but to reasonable accommodations that are unduly extensive, substantial, or disruptive, or those that would fundamentally alter the nature or operation of the business.(17) An employer must assess on a case-by-case basis whether a particular reasonable accommodation would cause undue hardship.”
To determine an “undue hardship” companies must look at and document several factors including:
- the nature and cost of the accommodation needed;
- the overall financial resources of the facility making the reasonable accommodation; the number of persons employed at this facility; the effect on expenses and resources of the facility;
- the overall financial resources, size, number of employees, and type and location of facilities of the employer (if the facility involved in the reasonable accommodation is part of a larger entity);
- the type of operation of the employer, including the structure and functions of the workforce, the geographic separateness, and the administrative or fiscal relationship of the facility involved in making the accommodation to the employer; and
- the impact of the accommodation on the operation of the facility.
So as you can see, it will be different for every company based on many factors. The important thing is that you do your due diligence and document all your reasons why an accommodation doesn’t work or why you chose a more cost effective accommodation over a more expensive accommodation.
Amy has extensive experience in the disability community from having a sister with a disability, being a special education teacher and working in job development and placement.
She has a unique view of people with disabilities in that they can accomplish anything if given the chance and time and that is what she advocates for daily.
She has witnessed the struggle from both sides, the prospective employees as well as the employers and has seen the need for company wide training and support in order to truly include people with disabilities in the workforce successfully.
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