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Phoenix Reasonable
Accommodation Lawyer

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Phoenix residents with disabilities have the right to work for an employer as long as they are qualified for the position. Unfortunately, there are some employers who refuse to hire qualified job candidates with disabilities. Other employers purposely fail to provide reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities to avoid hiring them. Both of these are examples of employment discrimination and you should contact an experienced Phoenix reasonable accommodation lawyer to discuss your case.

What Is Considered a Reasonable Accommodation?

A reasonable accommodation is a modification to a job that enables a qualified applicant or employee with a disability to perform the essential duties of that job. The job modification may take the form of an adjusted onboarding process, changes to the physical work environment, or flexible procedures or schedules that enable the employee to fulfill their role.

An accommodation is usually considered reasonable as long as it does not create a significant burden or expense for an employer. The goal of reasonable accommodation is to allow qualified employees and applicants to gain employment and complete the essential functions of their position, despite their disability.

Examples of Reasonable Accommodations

The majority of reasonable accommodation requests are made by employees who have a physical or mental disability. Reasonable accommodation based on sincerely held religious beliefs should be a separate page as it is distinct and separate from reasonable accommodation based on disability. Here are some examples of reasonable accommodations for individuals with qualified disabilities:

  • Adjustment of a workspace to allow the employee to access and complete work if they have a mobility or other disability.
  • Granting permission to wear noise-canceling headphones to a person with ADHD so they can remain focused on work
  • A flexible schedule that enables the employee to go to required medical appointments
  • Investing in Braille keyboards or special software that enable people with visual and auditory disabilities to work
  • Modification of one or more parking spaces to provide easy access for a wheelchair-accessible van

A Phoenix Reasonable Accommodation Lawyer can help with Your Requests

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Types of Reasonable Accommodation

Reasonable accommodations that are granted to people with disabilities can be classified into four types:

  • Physical accommodations: Changes that are made to the physical environment, such as lowering desks, installing ramps, and widening doorways
  • Communication accommodations: Modifications that allow for ease of communications, such as providing a sign language interpreter, printing in Braille, and providing headsets
  • Technological accommodations: Adjustments to technology that facilitate the employee’s ability to work, such as installing screen-reading software and allowing for video conferencing
  • Policy accommodations: Adapting work policies, such as allowing for an employee to bring a support or assistance animal to work, granting flexible schedules, and providing breaks for religious observances

Who Is Classified as Having a Disability?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) exists to prevent an employer from discriminating against a current or prospective employee with a disability. A person is considered to have a disability if they have a physical or mental impairment that significantly limits one or more major life functions. An employee with a history of physical or mental impairment may also be classified as disabled. A disability may limit a person in the following ways:

  • Seeing or hearing
  • Walking
  • Lifting
  • Reading
  • Learning
  • Concentrating
  • Interacting with others

While many disabilities are readily apparent, others may not be obvious to an employer. If this is the case, the employer may request documentation from a qualified healthcare professional to confirm the need for reasonable accommodation.

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What Should I Do if I Am Being Denied Reasonable Accommodation?

If you are denied reasonable accommodation, consider following these steps to make sure you and your employer are on the same page regarding your request:

  • First, resubmit your request in writing to your employer and human resources manager. If you submit it by email, request a read receipt.
  • If you receive no response, or if your request is denied, request a meeting with your HR manager and/or supervisor.
  • Ask why your request is not approved. Note the answer and ask the employer to send you the explanation in writing.
  • Next, contact an Arizona reasonable accommodation lawyer. Request a free consultation and explain your situation.

When Is the Right Time to Call an Phoenix Reasonable Accommodation Lawyer?

The best time to call an employment attorney regarding your request for reasonable accommodation is as soon as you realize you need a reasonable accommodation from your employer. Although employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities, many employers mishandle these requests and unnecessarily deny them for individuals who are entitled to reasonable accommodation.

To ensure your best possible outcome contact an experienced employment attorney as soon as you realize you may need to request a reasonable accommodation. Additionally, if your request for reasonable accommodation has been denied, an experienced employment attorney can help you get the denial overturned and recover the accommodation you are entitled to, or otherwise advise you on your claims against your employer for their failure to provide your reasonable accommodation.

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frequently asked question

Can a Reasonable Accommodation Be Denied?

Yes, but only if your employer can demonstrate that you are not a qualified individual with a disability or that reasonably accommodating you would create an “undue burden” for your employer. It is your employer’s responsibility to provide you with reasonable accommodation unless they can prove it causes undue hardship on the business. Here are some reasons that your employer may lawfully be able to deny your reasonable accommodation request:

  • The accommodation is too costly: If your employer does not have the financial means to grant your request, they may be able to deny it.
  • Your accommodation is too challenging: If your employer lacks the means or resources to accommodate your request, they could deny it.
  • The accommodation inhibits your job performance: If the accommodation prevents you from performing your primary job duties, an employer will deny it.

Note that only businesses with 15 or more employees are required by law to provide reasonable accommodations, but that does not mean a small business will necessarily be incapable of providing the accommodation necessary.

How Do You Ask for Reasonable Accommodation?

Asking for reasonable accommodation is easier than you may think. You can ask for an accommodation during your job interview, your orientation period, or any other time during your employment. You can make your request using “plain English,” and you do not need to reference the ADA or mention the phrase, “reasonable accommodation.” Here are some tips for asking for reasonable accommodation:

  • Do not delay: Make your request before your job performance begins to decline.
  • Provide a reason: Tell your employer that the modification or change you are requesting is related to a medical condition and how that accommodation will improve your ability to perform your job.
  • Ask politely and with confidence: Remember you earned the job because you are qualified. Most employers are willing to honor requests.
Can I Be Fired if I Am Unable to Perform My Job Due to My Disability?

If you become disabled and are unable to perform the essential functions of your job, your employer cannot fire you without first trying to make a reasonable accommodation. If you are still unable to perform your duties perform the essential functions of your job, your employer may terminate you without violating the law.

With your job on the line, and so many variables to consider, it is always helpful to consult with an Arizona lawyer who specializes in reasonable accommodation. With an experienced legal professional in your corner, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing your employment rights will be protected.

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