What Are the Three Accommodation Categories?

The three accommodation categories under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) are: (1) modifications or adjustments to a job application process that allow a qualified applicant who is disabled to be considered for the job she requires, (2) modifications or adjustments to the work environment, or (3) modifications or adjustments that allow a covered entity’s employee who is disabled to enjoy equal opportunities. If you have a disability as defined under the ADA, the New York State Human Rights Law, or the New York City Human Rights Law, you should consult the New York City disability discrimination lawyers of Phillips & Associates. We understand that our clients are going through extremely difficult times, both financially and emotionally. We cannot in good conscience ask them to pay retainer fees when they have been denied a reasonable accommodation or have been retaliated against for asking for one. We provide free consultations and represent disabled clients on a contingency fee basis. Our attorneys seek all available relief and work hard to achieve the best available outcome for disabled clients. Give us a call.

As a qualified job applicant or employee who is differently abled or has recognized disabilities, you may need adjustments to the workplace to cross workplace barriers. These barriers may be physical obstacles or procedures. However, the law recognizes that when disabled workers are provided with reasonable accommodations, they may be able to enjoy equal opportunities and benefits as their fellow job applicants or coworkers.

You’ll need to tell an employer that you need an accommodation.

Modifications or Adjustments to a Job Application Process

Modifications or adjustments to the job application process is one of the three accommodation categories for disabled workers who are also qualified. These are changes to the way things are done with regard to applying for a job so that qualified workers who have a disability can have equal opportunity. Reasonable accommodations shouldn’t be interpreted as special treatment for job applicants who have disabilities. If you are qualified, you should be provided with adjustments or modifications. However, these cases can be more challenging to prove.

Unless it presents an undue hardship for the specific prospective employer, you should be able to obtain a reasonable accommodation for the job application process. These accommodations include:

  • Accessible restrooms
  • Ergonomic workstations
  • Job restructuring
  • Modified or part time work schedules

Accommodations can include:

  • Physical changes like installing a ramp or changing a restroom
  • Accessible technologies
  • Providing screen reader software
  • Using videophones to facilitate communications
  • Providing sign language interpreters or closed captioning
  • Providing Braille or large print materials to the vision impaired
  • Allowing service animals by modifying the workplace policies
  • Altering work schedules so you can go to the doctor as a person with a chronic medical condition.

Your employer needs to provide reasonable accommodations to those individuals who are qualified when they are employees or job applicants, unless doing so would present an undue hardship. Generally, reasonable accommodations are those changes in the work environment, or the way things are usually done, that allow a person with a disability to receive equal employment opportunities.

Accommodations Involving Work Environment

Modifications or adjustments to the work environment or the way in which a position held or desired is usually performed are one category of accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). A federal court would look at whether the accommodation would allow a qualified individual with a disability to perform essential job functions. Whether you should get this type of accommodation is determined on a case-by-case basis.

Your specific disability and workplace operations and resources, along with the statutory language the court applies, will determine whether you should receive an accommodation involving your work environment. You may be able to obtain an accommodation involving a barrier in your work environment, for example, if:

  • You suffer paralysis and work for a multinational corporation and need a wheelchair ramp.
  • You develop chronic fatigue syndrome and need to bring a cot into your office to be able to lie down, or work remotely.
  • You suffer from a panic disorder related to sound sensitivity and social phobias and must wear noise cancelling headphones or use a white noise machine at your desk.
  • You need a divider for privacy because you need to administer yourself shots.

Your employer is not required to provide you with changes to your work environment if it would present an undue hardship.

Accommodations Allowing Equal Benefits

You should receive equal benefits as a disabled employee in New York City. If your employer is covered by the ADA, it must make it possible for you to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment as enjoyed by its other similarly situated employees who don’t have disabilities. Accommodations allowing equal benefits may involve, for example:

  • Acquisition of training materials in Braille or in large print because you have a vision impairment.
  • Allowing you to adjust your work schedule so that you can attend regular medical appointments because you have Lupus.
  • Modifying a policy to allow a service animal in a business setting.

Hire Our Firm to Fight for Your Rights

Many companies hire expensive attorneys to avoid paying damages to a disabled plaintiff to whom they denied a reasonable accommodation, even when the plaintiff presents a good case. You shouldn’t leave your livelihood to chance. A great lawyer can make the difference of whether you recover damages. At Phillips & Associates, we can’t guarantee outcomes, but our firm works hard for clients and has a record of success in many cases. Our seasoned New York City employment discrimination lawyers represent disabled workers in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, the Bronx, Nassau County or Suffolk County. Call us at (866) 229-9441 or complete our online form.

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