Disability Discrimination

ADA Awareness: What is Undue Hardship?

May 01, 2024

author bio pic of Lily  Filippatos

Written by Lily Filippatos

Brought to you by Filippatos Empoyment Law, Litigation & ADR

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) stands as a beacon of protection for individuals with disabilities, ensuring equal opportunities and access in various aspects of life, including employment. Central to the ADA’s provisions is the concept of reasonable accommodations, which require employers to make modifications or adjustments to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform their job duties. However, there are limits to these accommodations, as outlined by the ADA’s undue hardship provision. In this blog post, we explore what constitutes undue hardship, its implications for employers and employees, and how ADA discrimination lawyers can provide assistance.

Undue hardship, as defined by the ADA, refers to significant difficulty or expense incurred by an employer when providing accommodations for an employee with a disability. While employers are generally required to make reasonable accommodations, they are not obligated to do so if it imposes an undue hardship on the operation of their business. Determining whether an accommodation constitutes an undue hardship involves an assessment of various factors, including the nature and cost of the accommodation, the overall financial resources of the employer, and the impact on the business’s operations.

It is essential to note that undue hardship is not merely a matter of inconvenience or preference for the employer. Rather, it represents a substantial burden that goes beyond what is reasonable to expect. For example, while installing a ramp to provide wheelchair access may be a reasonable accommodation for many employers, the cost of such a modification could be considered an undue hardship for a small business with limited financial resources.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency responsible for enforcing the ADA, provides guidance on determining undue hardship. According to the EEOC, factors to consider include the nature and cost of the accommodation, the financial resources of the employer, the overall size of the business, and the impact on the operation of the business. Additionally, the EEOC emphasizes that employers should engage in an interactive process with employees to explore potential accommodations and assess their feasibility.

For employees seeking accommodations, navigating the process can be daunting, especially if faced with resistance or reluctance from employers. In some cases, employers may be unaware of their obligations under the ADA or may mistakenly believe that accommodating an employee’s disability would impose an undue hardship. This is where ADA discrimination lawyers can offer invaluable assistance.

ADA discrimination lawyers specialize in advocating for individuals with disabilities who have experienced discrimination or retaliation in the workplace. These legal professionals are well-versed in the intricacies of the ADA and can help employees understand their rights and navigate the accommodation process. Whether it’s negotiating with employers, filing complaints with the EEOC, or pursuing legal action through litigation, ADA discrimination lawyers are dedicated to ensuring that individuals with disabilities are treated fairly and afforded the accommodations they need to succeed in the workplace.

If you believe your employer is not accommodating your disability or if you’ve faced discrimination or retaliation for requesting accommodations, it is essential to seek legal advice promptly. ADA discrimination lawyers can assess your situation, provide guidance on your rights under the ADA, and help you pursue the appropriate course of action. Whether it be advocating for reasonable accommodations or seeking recourse for discrimination, these legal professionals are committed to protecting your rights and ensuring equal treatment in the workplace.

In conclusion, undue hardship is a critical consideration in the ADA accommodation process, balancing the needs of individuals with disabilities with the legitimate concerns of employers. While employers are generally required to make reasonable accommodations, they are not obligated to do so if it imposes a significant burden on their business operations. However, determining what constitutes undue hardship requires careful consideration of various factors, and employers must engage in an interactive process with employees to explore potential accommodations.

For individuals with disabilities seeking accommodations, disability discrimination lawyers can provide invaluable assistance in navigating the accommodation process and advocating for their rights. By understanding your rights under the ADA and seeking legal guidance when needed, you can ensure that you receive the accommodations you need to succeed in the workplace and protect yourself from discrimination and retaliation.

Call Us

We at Filippatos PLLC are here to protect you from disability discrimination. If you are experiencing discrimination at work due to your disability, please give us a call at 888-9-JOBLAW for a free consultation. We will do our utmost to help secure you the justice you deserve.