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ADA workplace accommodations for disabled persons

New York employees who have a federally recognized disability should be familiar with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations for disabled workers so that they can obtain and maintain their jobs.

The ADA has improved the placement of disabled individuals in the workforce with its accommodation requirement and has reduced discrimination against disabled persons. However, there are questions regarding exactly what type of accommodations the law refers to with regard to the hiring and employment of the disabled. The ambiguity of the language of the ADA has resulted in many disputes landing in court, which will continue unless clarification is provided by the Supreme Court or Congress.

There are a broad range of discriminatory behaviors that the ADA forbids employers from engaging in. They include segregating, classifying or limiting jobs in a discriminatory manner, colluding with others to engage in discrimination, using biased criteria or standards and using a qualified individual's disability to exclude him or her from jobs or benefits.

Unless it would result in an undue hardship to its business, an employer is required to provide reasonable accommodations for the mental or physical limitations of a disabled individual who is otherwise qualified. Some examples of reasonable accommodation according to the law can include altering the work environment so that it is more accessible to individuals with disabilities and modifying the work schedule. An employer may also obtain or modify equipment that is required to complete work tasks or transfer a disabled employee to another vacant position.

Treating workers differently because of their disability may or may not constitute employment discrimination, as it depends on the facts of the particular situation. People who believe that their treatment has been both unfair and prohibit may want to meet with an attorney in order to see if a complaint should be filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

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The Law Offices of Jeffrey E. Goldman
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