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The costs and benefits of accommodating employees with disabilities

Employers are familiar with “reasonable accommodation” under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).“Reasonable accommodations” for religious issues is somewhat different under the discrimination laws.For example, suppose an employee’s religion requires that he or she wear particular clothes that are considered hazardous if worn near moving equipment or machinery.Unless there is another type of clothing that would meet the employee’s religious needs, permitting the employee to work in those clothes may be an undue hardship because of legitimate safety rules or regulations.Because this law makes several significant changes, including changes to the definition of the term "disability," the EEOC will be evaluating the impact of these changes on this document and other publications. 12112 (b)(5)(A) (1994) (it is a form of discrimination to fail to provide a reasonable accommodation "unless such covered entity can demonstrate that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship . See the list of specific changes to the ADA made by the ADA Amendments Act.

That could be an office or conference room, or an otherwise separate area where the employees can pray in private.

Alternatively, what if a female employee’s religious belief or practice prohibited her from being alone in a room with males? What if simply leaving open the door to the room would meet the employee’s religious needs? But if not, or if the employee’s particular job required closed door, confidential discussions, the religious practice may pose an undue hardship.

Always consult with your human resources or legal department before talking with an employee about religious accommodation issues.

If you have a legal issue or wish to obtain legal advice, you should consult an attorney in your area concerning your particular situation and facts.

Nothing presented on this site or in this article establishes or should be construed as establishing an attorney-client or confidential relationship between you and Barrie Gross.

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