Telecommuting: A Reasonable Accommodation?
A recent analysis of telecommuting growth and trends found that between 13 and 30 million Americans may be working from home at least one day a week.
Employers may not realize that employees who work remotely may impact the organization’s responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). According to federal Equal Opportunity Employment Commission guidelines, allowing a disabled employee to work from home may be a reasonable accommodation under the ADA.
The Employment Law Lookout blog has some good tips for employers who need to evaluate these reasonable accommodation requests:
So how does an employer decide whether working from home can be a “workable” accommodation? The answer lies with the essential job functions and their application in practice.
First, identify the essential functions of the position. The job description is usually a good place to start – but make sure it is accurate. Second, decide whether some or all of those functions can be performed at home.