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What is consider reasonable accommodations under the ADA?

Wisconsin employers must abide by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. This federal law states that reasonable accommodations must be made for employees or applicants who suffer from a disability. An employer may be exempt from this requirement if it would create an undue hardship for the company. Reasonable accommodations are defined as modifications to the workplace that enable an employee to do the job to the best of his or her abilities.

Specific modifications include offering a modified work schedule, which may include part-time hours in some cases. Equipment may be modified to help a disabled employee use that equipment or an interpreter may be provided to help an employee understand training or other provided written job materials. If such accommodations can be made, employers may be required to adjust company policies to assist those with disabilities. Adjustments may also need to be made to existing facilities to enable disabled workers to access them.

Modifications may also be made to the job application that enables a qualified applicant to apply for the job that he or she wishes to be considered for. Under the terms of the ADA, such accommodations must be offered to an employee whether or not that person is a part-time worker, a full-time worker or a probationary worker.

Employers are generally required to make accommodations for disabled workers. If a qualified worker or applicant is turned away by an employer because of a disability, it may be worthwhile to talk to an employment law attorney who may be able to win compensation for lost wages as a result of the disability discrimination. In some cases, it may be possible to win an employee's job back.

Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, "Enforcement Guidance: Reasonable Accommodation and Undue Hardship Under the Americans with Disabilities Act", October 11, 2014

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