Kansas City Reasonable Accommodations Lawyer/Denial of Reasonable Accommodations in Kansas City
If you have a disability, you have the right to work in a discrimination-free work environment under state and federal law. Furthermore, you have the right to receive reasonable accommodations in the workplace if you require them. If you have issues at work stemming from your disability, it may be time to speak with a skilled Kansas City employment lawyer with experience in workplace disability laws who understands your rights and can help protect them. Workplace disability laws and reasonable accommodation regulations can be complex and intricate as they often intersect state and federal laws.
While The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and various state and federal laws prohibit disability discrimination, employers do not always follow the law. You have the right to request reasonable accommodations from your employer if you have a qualifying disability. If your employer has denied reasonable accommodations, consulting a qualified employment lawyer can help hold your employer accountable and recover financial compensation.
What Is Considered a Disability in Kansas City?
Under the law, your condition qualifies as a disability if your condition physically or mentally impairs you or substantially limits your ability to perform one or more major life activities. Determining whether a condition is a disability or not is often on a case-by-case basis. Conditions such as cancer or diabetes generally qualify as a disability. Additionally, permanent conditions that cause someone to experience repetitive episodes or flare-ups also tend to qualify. However, conditions such as a broken leg or temporary conditions like the flu do not qualify. When determining whether a condition impairs or limits your ability to perform one or major life activities, the activities considered may include:
- Care for oneself
- Performing manual tasks
These are just a few of the elements considered during the determination of a condition as a disability.
What Do Reasonable Accommodations Look Like in the Workplace?
Not every individual with a disability will require assistance at work. In fact, many workers with a disability are able to perform their duties without their employer knowing about their disability. However, when a disability limits or impairs your ability to perform your job duties, employers have a duty to provide you with reasonable accommodations as long as you qualify as a disabled person and are able to perform the essential functions of the job with such accommodations. This applies to both part-time and full-time employees.
Reasonable accommodations are often modifications or adjustments to your job duties or working environment that allow you to perform the essential functions of your work. What you may require and what is considered reasonable accommodations will depend on your particular circumstances. Reasonable accommodations can take many forms and can include:
- Fewer work hours
- Modified attendance policy
- More frequent breaks
- Adding ramps or elevators
- Designated parking space
- Wider bathroom stalls
- Changing a desk to accommodate a wheelchair
- Hands-free telephone headset
- Voice recognition software
- Providing written materials in larger print, braille, or audiotapes
- Providing interpreters and readers
- Providing leave for medical treatments
If your employer can provide accommodations that don’t present any undue hardship, it is their responsibility to take the necessary steps to make your workplace more accessible.
The Importance of Interactive Dialogue When Requesting Reasonable Accommodations
Employers and employees must legally engage in “interactive” dialogue when an employee requests reasonable accommodations. Interactive dialogue is the discussion between the employer and employee to understand the nature and extent of the reasonable accommodations the employee is requesting. How long this discussion lasts depends on the circumstances of both the employee and their condition and the employer’s ability to provide the requested accommodations. This conversation will usually be more than a one-time sit-down session.
Before approving your request, an employer needs to identify the accommodations you need and how to implement them. They also need to determine whether those accommodations present an undue hardship. Undue hardship refers to a significantly difficult or expensive accommodation that a particular employer cannot afford under the circumstances or is having difficulty providing a specific accommodation. The theory of undue hardship does not simply apply to financial difficulty but also to unduly extensive or disruptive accommodations that may fundamentally alter the operation of the workplace. However, an employer must assess on a case-by-case basis and do their best to provide accommodations.
Furthermore, you are not entitled to the exact accommodations you asked for but are entitled to the most effective and appropriate accommodations your employer can provide. Your employer can offer alternative accommodations and must work to find the most effective accommodations they can find.
What to Do if an Employer Denies Reasonable Accommodations
If your employer denies reasonable accommodations, even after engaging in an interactive dialogue and knowing that your accommodations don’t place undue hardship on your employer or workplace, it might be possible to appeal the decision. Sometimes employers will have their own accommodations appeal process that can include completing a form that must be submitted or reviewed by an accommodation appeals or human resources department. Before filing an appeal elsewhere, check with your workplace by contacting someone in human resources to see your employer’s policy for appealing a reasonable accommodation denial.
If your employer doesn’t have a formal appeal process or once again denies your claim, it may be time to file a complaint with either the state or local government through the ADA or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
It’s beneficial to have a dedicated Kansas City employment lawyer at your side, whether you attempt to appeal through your workplace or through a state or federal agency. An employment lawyer will know the necessary information to support your appeal and help ensure you achieve a favorable outcome.
Contact Our Qualified Employment Lawyer at Hollis Law Firm
At Hollis Law Firm, we believe that every employee deserves to be treated fairly and with respect and should have the necessary support in their work environment. Our skilled employment lawyer has over 15 years of experience helping Kansas City workers protect their rights and hold their employers accountable. If you have been denied the reasonable accommodations you are legally entitled to, Hollis Law is here to help.
Schedule a consultation today by filling out our contact form so we can get back to you or call (800) 701-3672.
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