Do employers have to accommodate an employee with a disability?

by Andrew Bainbridge | Jun 03, 2015 | Workers' Compensation

Suffering an on the job injury can be incredibly problematic in some instances because the injury may be so great that a person becomes disabled as a result. And as if going through the process of applying for benefits wasn’t enough of a challenge for an injured worker, it’s possible that a worker may also need to request an accommodation from their employer as well.

But do employers here in Ohio have to make accommodations for employees with disabilities? The answer is yes but not because of state law. The statutory requirement to provide reasonable accommodations to a person with disabilities is actually a federal law included in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. But what rights do employees have under this law, you might ask? Let’s take a look.

Whether a disability occurs because of a work-related injury or some other means, employers across the nation must provide reasonable accommodation for an employee with a disability, including employers here in Ohio. An accommodation must be provided to a qualified employee, regardless of whether they are part-time or full-time, and the accommodation should be an adjustment to the work environment itself or how the work is performed, thus removing barriers and providing equal employment opportunity.

Just as is the case with claims for workers’ compensation, employers may try to convince an employee that they are not required to make an accommodation to a disabled worker. Today’s readers should know that if an employer here in Ohio were to attempt this, they would be breaking the law. An employee would then have cause to take legal action against their employer. But just like fighting a denied workers’ compensation claim, seeking legal help is possible and highly advised.

Source: The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, “Enforcement Guidance: Reasonable Accommodation and Undue Hardship Under the Americans with Disabilities Act,” Accessed June 2, 2015

Tags: Workers' Compensation