4-Part Series: Four Misunderstood Terms in the Americans with Disabilities Act (Part Three)

by Mammoth Team on January 9, 2018


In Part Two, we took a look into reasonable accommodations and some examples of possible requests. In Part Three, we will examine undue hardships on an organization due to providng a reasonable accommodation.

Part Three: Undue Hardship

Under the ADA, an employer is required to provide reasonable accommodations as long as doing so does not create an undue hardship on the organization. According to the EEOC, an undue hardship is a significant difficulty or expense. The cost of an accommodation could be an undue burden on the employer, but so could an accommodation’s duration, expansiveness, or disruption.

An accommodation that would fundamentally alter the nature or operation of the business would be an undue hardship, even if the cost was negligible. But if cost alone is the basis for claiming an accommodation is unreasonable, employers should remember that the standard is “significant expense.” The federal regulations instruct employers to consider the size of the organization and affected facility, their overall financial resources, and any tax credits, deductions, or outside funding available. Whether an accommodation would cause an undue hardship is something employers must assess on a case-by-case basis.

In Part Four, we will look at the interactive process that an employer should engage in when determining if an accommodation is reasonable. 

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Topics: Compliance, Best Practices