The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently reinstated a paragraph to the appendix of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations describing the most common types of reasonable accommodations employers and others may be required to provide. The EEOC said its intent in doing this was to clarify that the list is not exhaustive and does not cover all situations in which a specific accommodation might be required.
The EEOC took the opportunity to add a few items to the list of example accommodations, including:
- allowing an employee to take accrued paid leave or extra unpaid time off for medical treatment,
- ensuring employer-provided transportation is accessible for those with disabilities,
- providing reserved parking spaces, and
- providing personal assistants, such as a page turner for an employee with no hands or a travel attendant for a blind person on an occasional business trip.
Employers should remember that the ADA requires them to engage in an interactive process to determine whether an applicant or employee is disabled and what, if any, accommodation is necessary to enable him or her to perform all essential job functions. Whether an accommodation is reasonable depends on all the facts and circumstances of the individual case. Employers do not have to provide an accommodation that would cause an undue hardship (i.e., significant difficulty or expense) to the company or pose a direct threat to health and safety.
The changes were published in the Federal Register on January 31, 2014, and are accessible here.