Washington, D.C.: ADA Accommodations May Be Required to Alleviate Pain While Working

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August 1, 2018

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In Hill v. Associates for Renewal in Education, Inc., the D.C. Circuit Court stated that although an ADA accommodation may not be necessary for an employee to perform his job, it may be required to alleviate an employee’s pain while working. There, a teacher with a leg prosthesis and leg injury requested an accommodation for pain that occurs when walking up stairs to his classroom and standing for long periods. Initially, the request was accommodated, but later the employer withdrew the accommodations. The teacher subsequently filed a claim alleging disability discrimination and a hostile working environment based on the denial for an accommodation.

The D.C. Circuit Court stated that failure to accommodate working conditions that inflict pain or hardship on a disabled employee could be found as a denial of a reasonable accommodation. Employers should be aware that failure to grant reasonable accommodations under the ADA may lead to significant penalties and claims. Each request for an accommodation requires its own individualized assessment and an understanding of the specific circumstances to be accounted for prior to making a decision to grant or deny an accommodation.

Action Items

  1. Implement procedures for addressing ADA accommodation requests consistent with this ruling.
  2. Have applicable personnel trained on addressing ADA accommodation requests.
  3. Have job descriptions reviewed for compliance with the ADA.
  4. Subscribers can call our HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456 for further assistance.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

© 2018 ManagEase

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