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What is a reasonable accommodation?

If you are a disabled California worker, you know that the Americans with Disabilities Act forbids your employer or a potential employer from discriminating against you on the basis of your disability. It also requires any employer with 15 or more employees to provide you with reasonable accommodations. But what actually constitutes a reasonable accommodation?

The ADA National Network explains that a reasonable accommodation is one that allows you to perform the essential functions of your job despite your disability.

Reasonable accommodation examples

The reasonable accommodations you require depend, naturally, on the nature of your disability and its severity. Common reasonable accommodations include the following:

  • An accessible workplace
  • An accessible work area
  • A reserved parking space
  • Special equipment, software, etc.
  • Special training materials and/or tests
  • Flexible work schedule

In addition, if the employer has a “no animals allowed” policy, it must nevertheless allow you to bring your service dog with you to work if you have one.

ADA eligibility

Keep in mind that in order to qualify for ADA protection, you must have “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities (sometimes referred to in the regulations as an “actual disability”).”

Additionally, you must be able to perform the essential functions of your job or the job for which you are applying. Some factors that go into determining whether or not a duty represents an essential function include the following:

  • Does the position exist specifically to perform these duties?
  • How many other employees are available to perform the same duties?
  • How much expertise or skill does one require in order to perform these duties?

This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.

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