$5 million Executive
Severance Pay
$4 million Whistleblower
$1.5 million Retaliation
$1.2 million Whistleblower
$1.1 million Age
$1 million Gender

What is a Reasonable Accommodation in the Workplace?

Are you unable to perform your job because of a disability? If so, your employer may have to make reasonable accommodations to help you carry out your essential job functions. That is what a reasonable accommodation is – it is a way of modifying work so that disabled employees can perform their job. However, what types of accommodations are reasonable is not always clear.

What Types of Disabilities Qualify for a Reasonable Accommodation?

While there is no comprehensive list of disabilities that employers are required to accommodate, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (known as the LAD) defines the term disability very broadly. In fact, a disability, under the Law Against the Discrimination includes physical disabilities, impairments, infirmities, and disfigurements as well as mental, psychological and developmental disabilities and impairments.

Some disabilities may not be obvious or visible. In those cases, an employer may ask for and is entitled to medical documentation supporting the need for an accommodation.

What’s Reasonable?

An accommodation is reasonable so long as it does not create an undue hardship to the employer. Some typical accommodations that have been found reasonable under the law include:

  • Job Restructure:  An employer may be required to reallocate or redistribute non-essential (meaning marginal) job functions or change how or when certain tasks are performed.
  • Provide Leave:  A leave of absence may, in some cases, be a reasonable accommodation.  Employers must also accommodate when employees need time off from work to get medical or psychological treatment and services, recuperate, train service animals, and other disability-related services.
  • Reassignment to a vacant position:  Reassignment of a disabled employee to a vacant position may be a reasonable accommodation when the employee can no longer perform his or her essential job functions with or without a reasonable accommodation.  Employers, however, do not have to create a new position or re-assign or terminate other staff to create a job availability.
  • Modify workplaces:  Employers may have to modify workplaces as an accommodation of disabled employees.
  • Modify equipment: Employers may also have to modify work equipment as a reasonable accommodation.  For example, an employer may have to utilize software that magnifies a display screen to assist an employee with vision problems.
  • Modify work schedule: Employers may also be required to modify employees’ work schedules or even provide a part-time work schedule.
  • Allow work-from-home arrangements:  In some cases, employees may be required to allow disabled employees to work from home.
  • Create accessible parking: An employer may create a reserved spot for an employee who cannot walk long distances.
  • Allow service animals: An employer may change a “no pets” policy to welcome an employee’s service animal.

There are many types and examples of reasonable accommodations that employers may be required to make so that disabled employees can perform the essential functions of their jobs. That is because reasonable accommodations will vary depending on an employee’s position and the way the disability affects their ability to perform their job.

It is important to remember that employers are not necessarily required to provide the accommodation requested by the employee. The law only requires that they provide a reasonable accommodation.

While the ADA Might Not Apply to Your Situation, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination Applies to All New Jersey Employers and Employees

The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination applies to all New Jersey employers and employees, including state and local governments, even though the federal ADA only applies to employers with 15 or more employees.

Accommodation Issues Can Be Tricky

Requesting and getting reasonable accommodations can be tricky. If you need such an accommodation or are not getting the reasonable accommodations you need to perform your job, you should discuss your situation with an employment attorney, and learn more about your options.

Client Reviews
"Professional and Knowledgeable Attorney. At what was supposed to be the highest point in my career suddenly became the most harassing and lowest point of my career and I was passed over for a promotion. Not because the other person was more qualified than I was, but because I followed the law and did the right thing and the people I worked for did not like that. After researching several attorneys, my wife and I found Claudia, and the decision to retain her was the best decision we ever made. After explaining our case to Claudia, we found that she was not only extremely professional but a very caring human being. Throughout the entire process of our case, Claudia was there with us every step of the way. She explained every single proceeding that we had to go through and guided us, not only as a professional attorney in and out of court, but personally as a caring and understanding person. Because of her extensive working knowledge of employment and labor laws, Claudia was able to successfully resolve our case. My wife and I will always be extremely grateful for Claudia’s hard work and dedication, and we highly recommend Claudia Reis to anyone seeking an attorney who practices in employment and labor laws." John
"Professionalism, integrity, and determination. Outstanding representation! Chris Lenzo did an outstanding job in my employment discrimination case. He responded to my questions in a timely fashion, provided clear communication through each step of the process, and handled my case in an honest and straight forward manner. Chris’s expertise in employment law along with his hard work ensured justice would prevail in my case and got me the compensation I deserved. Likewise, Chris’s law firm staff was professional, courteous, organized, and effective. I highly recommend Chirs Lenzo’s firm to anyone with an employment legal matter in New Jersey or New York." Sofia
"Remarkable professional. I have worked with Ms. Reis and her firm for the past three years. During the consultation process, you will immediately experience her compassion as she offers suggestions and guides you through the difficult situation you are dealing with. Her attention to detail, timely follow up and candid manner ensured me that I was well-protected and represented. Ms. Reis always went above and beyond to protect me legally. She is a very strong and tough (when necessary) advocate for the individual she represents. Her support staff is equally diligent. I would recommend her without reservation." A.M.