Employment Law Blog

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Jan 10, 2018

ADA accommodation may require showing rather than telling

DisabilityTermination & Resignation 

ADA accommodation may require showing rather than telling

An employee in Illinois will move forward to a jury trial on her disability discrimination claim alleging that her employer failed to provide a reasonable accommodation for her learning disability. Although supervisors told her how to complete her timesheets, the employee claims that she asked them to actually show her how to fill out the timesheet and that they refused, which ultimately led to her termination.

Requested Accommodation for Learning Disability: Was it Reasonable?

The employee had disclosed that she sometimes had difficulty learning new tasks with oral instructions. The employer didn’t dispute her disability or that she requested to be shown how to do tasks, nor did the employer argue that this requested accommodation was unreasonable. Now a jury will get to decide whether the employer should have shown the employee how to correctly complete her timesheet as a form of reasonable accommodation (Dumka v. Duke, ND Ill, Nov. 2017).

What Employers Should Know About Learning Disabilities and Disability Accommodation

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), an employer must reasonably accommodate an employee’s disability unless it would cause an undue hardship to the employer or a direct threat to health and safety. In this case, where the requested accommodation seems to be so simple, it is going to be difficult for the employer to show undue hardship.

Documentation is Key

Be sure to thoroughly document any employee request for disability accommodation, your response, and the specific reasons if you deny a requested accommodation. For more information, see our Legal Guide, “ADA: Reasonable Accommodation and the Interactive Process.”

Your Vigilant employment attorney can also assist you, so please feel free to reach out to them for additional guidance. Not a member? Contact us today to learn about our unlimited, flat fee employment law advice.

For additional blogs on the topic of disability accommodation and the ADA, be sure to explore the disability section of our blog.

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