With the proliferation of technology making in possible is many situations
to telecommute, disabled workers may wonder if a request to work remotely
should be considered a “reasonable accommodation” under the
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). According to several cases, whether
an employer must grant a request to telecommute should be based on a fact-specific
inquiry that considers the company’s teleworking history for nondisabled
employees with similar job requirements and responsibilities. Further,
although it an employer may not need to “automatically grant a request
to work at home,” it should assess the unique facts and circumstances
of each case.”
The ADA prohibits discrimination based on The ADA prohibits discrimination
against “qualified individuals with a disability” in the terms
and conditions of employment. One of the protections provided by the ADA
is by requiring your employer make an effort to reasonably accommodate
your disability, if you are considered “a qualified individual with
a disability.” If you have questions concerning whether you are
covered by the ADA, it’s a good idea to consult with a knowledgeable
Atlanta discrimination attorney right away.
If, despite your disability, you are able to do your job, either with no
accommodation at all, or with a reasonable accommodation, your employer
must accommodate you. An accommodation can be something as simple as changing
your starting time a few minutes, giving you a telephone amplifier if
you’re hard of hearing, or changing your workspace if it exacerbates
your medical condition. If your employer refuses to accommodate you, in
most cases you can file an ADA discrimination charge. Your employer, however,
is not required to accommodate you if your requested accommodation would
be too expensive or burdensome, or if your medical condition poses a serious
risk of harm to you or someone else in your workplace.
Bixby v. JP Morgan Chase Bank NA, a recent case involving the issue of telecommuting as a reasonable accommodation,
an employee with who had panic attacks and other mental disorders was
not allowed by the employer to work from home on a temporary basis.
The employer did not allow the worker to telecommute. The court found that
because other employee had been allowed to work remotely, whether telecommuting
in this instance could be considered a “reasonable accommodation”
was best left to a jury to decide.
The bottom line – although it is not always required that employers
allow employees to work from home as reasonable accommodation, a number
of considerations employers need to take into account, such as if nondisabled
employees are allowed to telecommute and any existing company policies
or procedures regarding remote work.
For more information or if you believe you may have suffered disability
discrimination, please contact the experienced
Georgia disability discrimination lawyers at The Buckley Law Firm, LLC for an immediate consultation.