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Can a reasonable accommodation request be denied?

On Behalf of | Mar 17, 2023 | Workplace Discrimination

If you have a disability or illness that prevents you from doing your work, you can request your employer for specific changes at the workplace. In other words, your employer should provide reasonable accommodation for your condition to enable you to discharge your duties. It’s all in the spirit of a workplace free of any form of discrimination.

Reasonable accommodation includes actions like making a workplace more accessible, modifying work schedules and using assistive technology to remove the barriers faced by a worker due to their disability.

So, can an employer legally refuse a reasonable accommodation request? The answer is not so straightforward, as it depends on the unique circumstances of each case. Here is what you need to know.

Reasonable accommodation and undue hardship

The law mandates every employer to provide reasonable accommodation to workers with limited physical or mental abilities. However, if such accommodation will cause an employer undue hardship, they are not legally obligated to provide it.

Actions that require significant difficulty or expenses may be considered an undue hardship. This takes into account the size of the business and the resources available among other factors. For instance, if the changes to the workplace would result in serious disruption to operations or require extensive financial resources which the business cannot afford, an employer may deny a request for reasonable accommodation.

Protect your employee rights

It is advisable to learn more about your rights if you have a disability or develop a condition that impedes your ability to work. You have a right to reasonable accommodation at your workplace as long as it does not cause undue hardship to your employer.

Should your request for reasonable accommodation be denied without exploring possible solutions or offering valid explanations, you should take appropriate action to safeguard your interests.