In the modern workplace, we are fortunate to embrace diversity in many forms. In all likelihood, your company or organization employs individuals of many different backgrounds and abilities. At times, these differences may require what is known as an accommodation–a change in the work environment (or in the way things are usually done) that enables an employee to perform the duties of his or her job while respecting the employee’s disability or religious beliefs or practices. Disability_accommodation.jpg
Accommodating an individual with a disability or a sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance is more than just good management; it’s the law. The federal Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, protects qualified individuals with disabilities from discrimination by employers with 15 or more employees in all aspects of employment, including hiring, firing, promotions, pay, and benefits. It also requires covered employers to provide reasonable accommodation to an employee with a disability, unless that accommodation would result in undue hardship to the employer’s operations. Small employers may be subject to similar requirements under state law, so be sure to familiarize yourself with any state-specific nondiscrimination laws that may apply.