Reasonable Accommodation of Disabilities

State and federal disability laws require covered employers who know of an individual’s disability to reasonably accommodate that disability, unless the employer can demonstrate that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship.

A “reasonable accommodation” is any modification or adjustment in a job, employment practice or work environment that allows an individual with a disability to enjoy an equal employment opportunity.1 It’s also any modification or adjustment that enables an employee or applicant to perform essential job functions or enjoy equivalent employment benefits and privileges that similarly situated employees without disabilities enjoy.

The reasonable accommodation obligation is an ongoing duty and may arise anytime a person’s disability or job changes. Disability discrimination laws don’t require you to make any modification, adjustment or change to a job or policy that you can demonstrate would fundamentally alter the essential functions of the job in question.

California’s disability regulations provide guidance on reasonable accommodation and the interactive process.

1.29 CFR sec. 1630.2(o), 2 CCR sec. 11065(p)​​