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How Long May a Reasonable Accommodation Last?

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The Americans With Disabilities Amendments Act (ADAAA) requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to disabled employees to enable such employees to perform the essential functions of their jobs. But for how long must the employer accommodate the employee? “We have been making accommodations for this employee for some time, with the assumption that the need for accommodations would be temporary,” employer have been known to gripe. “When can we stop? It’s just not convenient for us, or fair to other employees, to continue this accommodation.”

Courts have disapproved employers revoking an employee’s accommodations that have been in place. As an Illinois federal court ruled in Isbell v. Crane inn 2014, “An employer may not rescind an existing reasonable accommodation, unless there is a material change in circumstances that warrants it.” In Isbell, the Court held that a reasonable jury could find that the employer discriminated against the employee on the basis of disability by revoking permission that had been in pace for over two (2) years for the disabled employee to have a later start time than other employees. The court squarely rejected the employer’s contention that continuing the accommodation was unfair to other employees, stating that “such uniformity of treatment is precisely what the underlying purpose of the ADA rejects.”

If you believe your employer may be discriminating against you on the basis of disability, you should contact an experienced employment discrimination lawyer such as Benjamin T. King at Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C. Attorney King has been ranked among the top 5% of employment discrimination lawyers in New England representing employees, continuously since 2014. You can reach Attorney King at (603) 288-1403.