An employer recently failed to get a court to rule that a job coach can never be a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The ADA mandates that disabled workers be provided reasonable accommodations to perform the essential job functions of their job. There are just a few exceptions to this rule, such as the undue hardship or direct threat defenses.
Employers have long argued that providing a disabled worker with a job cannot be a reasonable accommodation, citing costs and liability issues.
In EEOC v. Walmart, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that there must be a case-by-case approach to determine if a requested accommodation is reasonable. The Court stated, “To be sure, employers need not pay twice for the same work” if another employee is performing the essential functions of the job for the disabled employee. But the Court added that did not apply in that case since Medicaid, and not Walmart, was paying for the cost of the accommodation.
This is good news for disabled workers and drives home the point that an employer has a significant obligation in providing reasonable accommodations.
If you are being denied a reasonable accommodation at your workplace, Lebau & Neuworth may be able to help. Contact us at 888-456-2529 or lebauneuworth.com/contact-us.