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Workplace discrimination: Lack of reasonable accommodations

The federal ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) grants you certain rights within the workplace. It also ensures that people with disabilities have ample and rewarding opportunities to cultivate a career. Unfortunately, the Act only works if employers do their part and do not attempt to go around the ADA or bypass it altogether. Failure to comply may constitute workplace discrimination and could land the employer in hot water.

One of the most valuable elements of the ADA gives disabled workers the right to have access to reasonable accommodations. Essentially, this means that certain changes in the workplace or in how the disabled worker is allowed to perform his or her duties must be made. "Reasonable" is a key word because it implies that employers do not have to make major accommodations that may not be cost effective or may lead to undue hardships.

Here are some examples of reasonable accommodations that may be implemented for a disabled worker in Michigan.

-- Providing flexible working schedules

-- Modifying existing work equipment to accommodate the worker

-- Acquiring new equipment to accommodate the disabled

-- Restructuring the overall work environment

-- Reassigning the disabled worker to a new position

-- Providing interpretations or other assistive personnel

The real point is that employers should attempt to provide accommodations as best they can. Terminating the disabled worker because it is just too much trouble to try is not an acceptable or legal solution.

Disabled workers in the Detroit area can take steps of their own if they believe workplace discrimination based on disability has occurred. The first and most important of these steps is speaking with an employment lawyer about your case.

Source: FindLaw, "ADA: Disabilities & Your Rights as an Employee," accessed July 11, 2017

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