Reasonable Accommodation

Understanding Your Right to Reasonable Accommodation in the Workplace

A “reasonable accommodation” refers to adjustments or modifications provided by an employer to enable people with disabilities to enjoy equal employment opportunities. These accommodations can be requested at any stage of employment, from the application process to performing job duties, and even accessing the benefits and privileges of employment.

Texas state law as well as the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified employees with disabilities, unless doing so would cause undue hardship. Undue hardship refers to significant difficulty or expense relative to the employer's size, resources, and the nature of the operation.

Remote Work as a Reasonable Accommodation

One of the most significant shifts since COVID as been the increasing acceptance of remote work. However, many employers remain irrationally opposed to remote work.  

Remote work can be of tremendous benefit to workers with mobility impairments, workers who are sensitive to noise, light, and crowds, workers with mental health impairments, and immunocompromised workers.

Frustratingly, many employers have such a singleminded focus on requiring in-office work that they are denying or even revoking exisiting work-from-home accomodations.  Becuase working from home is such a reasonable accomodation, it is almost always a violation of the ADA to deny this accomodation.

What’s Reasonable?

There are three main factors in deciding if an accomodation is reasobable.  First, is it inherently reasonable.  Is it going to cost a lot of money or be disruptive, or is it something that can be cheaply and easily implimented?  Second, do other employees receive the accomodation?  Is it an acocmodation given to pregnant workers, distance workers, other members of the team.  If other workers receive the accomodation it is more likely to be reasonable.  Third, did the empoyer offer the accomodation in the past.  If they employer offered the accomodaiton before, that can be evidence it is reasonable.  This is especially true if the accomodation was revoked by someone who has expressed biases and prejudices agaisnt the disability.

No Retaliation

An employer must engage in an “interactive” process to work with the employee to identify and implement reasonable accomodations.  This process should not be obstructionist or punative.  For example, cutting someone’s pay or hours is not generally a reasonable accomodaiton unless it’s requested.  Similarly an employer cannot relaliate agaisnt an employee for requesting or receiving an accomodation.

If Your Employer is Breaking the Law

If you face resistance or discrimination when requesting a reasonable accommodation, including remote work, it is crucial to seek legal assistance. You can schedule a consultation with us to help you navigate these challenges. Mr. Wiley and our experienced employment law attorneys in Austin, Texas, can provide guidance, advocate for your rights, and ensure that you receive the accommodations you need to thrive in your workplace.

Client Reviews
"During the consult, Mr. Castellanos was more than able to illustrate the knowledge and professionalism needed to be successful in representation." RD
"I appreciated [Mr. Castellanos’] respect and professionalism. I like that he liked my case and told me honestly what he believes will be difficult about it." BS
"I am really satisfied with the consultation, he [Mr. Castellanos] was so professional, he really guided me and answered all my questions/doubts. I really recommend Mr. Jairo Castellanos!!" HT
Contact Us
Contact Us