Employee Accommodation Requests: Selecting an Appropriate Accommodation

Managers usually have a lot of experience with owner requests for reasonable accommodations, but you might be less certain about how to proceed when one of your own employees seeks an accommodation.

In the first part of this two-part article, we explained the basics of an employer’s duty to provide employees with reasonable accommodations and the initial steps you should take if you receive an accommodation request. In this second part, we’ll cover how to select an appropriate accommodation and give you the heads up on a significant potential pitfall.

Federal and state disability discrimination laws require you to engage in a timely, good faith interactive process with the disabled employee to determine an appropriate accommodation — that is, one that’s both feasible for you and helpful to the employee.

“This is one of the easiest provisions to comply with as far as avoiding liability,” says Jamie Dokovna, a shareholder in the Florida law firm Becker & Poliakoff who practices employment law and works in the community association arena.

“It’s not like you have to follow certain steps, and, if you don’t, you’ve violated the law. There’s no right or wrong way. The point is just to engage in that conversation. It’s such an easy way to comply with the law, but so many employers miss that step.”

Read the full article to learn more on how to select an appropriate accommodation for employees at your management firm and find out how to avoid the appearance of retaliation: How to Handle Employee Accommodation Requests, Part 2

And if you missed part 1, read it here: How to Handle Employee Accommodation Requests, Part 1

Best regards,
Matt Humphrey

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