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ADA - "Reasonable accommodations"

There are three categories of "Reasonable accommodations":

"(i) modifications or adjustments to a job application process that enable a qualified applicant with a disability to be considered for the position such qualified applicant desires; or

(ii) modifications or adjustments to the work environment, or to the manner or circumstances under which the position held or desired is customarily performed, that enable a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of that position; or

(iii) modifications or adjustments that enable a covered entity's employee with a disability to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment as are enjoyed by its other similarly situated employees without disabilities."(4)

Listed below are three examples of reasonable accommodations.

Case 1 HIV (Modified or Part-Time Schedule)

An employee with HIV infection must take medication on a strict schedule. The medication causes extreme nausea about one hour after ingestion, and generally lasts about 45 minutes. The employee asks that he be allowed to take a daily 45-minute break when the nausea occurs. Does the employer need to grant this request absent undue hardship? or not? Explain your reason why or why not? Give references for your argument.

Case 2 Diabetic Employee (Modified Workplace Policies )

An employer has a policy prohibiting employees from eating or drinking at their workstations. An employee with insulin-dependent diabetes explains to her employer that she may occasionally take too much insulin and, in order to avoid going into insulin shock, she must immediately eat a candy bar or drink fruit juice. The employee requests permission to keep such food at her workstation and to eat or drink when her insulin level necessitates. Does the employer must modify its policy to grant this request, absent undue hardship? Why or why not? Give references for your argument.

Case #3 Employee with Learning Disability (Reassignment)

An employer is considering reassigning an employee with a learning disability (difficult memorizing things) to a position which requires the ability to speak Spanish in order to perform an essential function. The employee never learned Spanish and wants the employer to send him to a course to learn Spanish. Is the employer required to provide this training as part of the obligation to make a reassignment? Why or Why not...Give references for your argument.

Please note when using other sources; try to use the text book Foundations of the Vocational Rehabilitation Process 5th Edition by Stanford E. Rubin, Richard T. Roessler. You can use the library.

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I am looking for ideas and insight into these cases. Please provide references for outside sources. Thank you.

Solution Preview

Hi,

Interesting cases! Let's take a closer look. I also attached a highly informative resource, from which this response is draw.

RESPONSE:

1. Case 1: HIV (Modified or Part-Time Schedule)

An employee with HIV infection must take medication on a strict schedule. The medication causes extreme nausea about one hour after ingestion, and generally lasts about 45 minutes. The employee asks that he be allowed to take a daily 45-minute break when the nausea occurs.

Does the employer need to grant this request absent undue hardship? Or not. Explain your reason why or why not? Give references for your argument.

Yes, an employer must allow an employee with a disability to work a modified or part-time schedule as a reasonable accommodation, absent undue hardship. In this instance, a modified schedule involves providing periodic breaks (45-minutes after medication), altering when certain functions are performed. The employer must provide a modified or part-time schedule when required as a reasonable accommodation, absent undue hardship, even if it does not provide such schedules for other employees.(64) In this instance, failure to provide the 45-minute break, absent undue hardship, would violate the ADA (http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/accommodation.html).

For certain positions, however, the time during which an essential function is performed may be critical. This could affect whether an employer can grant a request to modify an employee's schedule.(65) Employers ...

Solution Summary

Referring to the ADA requirements, this solution addresses the three examples of reasonable accommodations referring to the three categories of reasonable accommodations proposed in the act.

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