Labor and Employment Law

Fact or Fiction: The ADA requires creating a new job for a disabled employee

That's right folks. It's time for another edition of "Fact or Fiction" a/k/a "Quick Answers to Quick Questions" a/k/a QATQQ f/k/a "I don't feel like writing a long blog post."

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, an employer is required to provide a reasonable accommodation, if doing so will allow a disabled employee to perform the essential functions of his job. Could this mean having to create a brand new position for a disabled employee?

Nope. A federal appellate court underscored this last week (opinion here) when if affirmed a lower-court decision to dismiss a plaintiff's claims under the ADA that his former employer had failed to accommodate his disability:

Otto also enumerates several accommodations that he says the City should have provided so that he could perform the job. He suggests that the City could have limited his job to sedentary duties, offered him a part-time job as an ice-hockey rink attendant, or assigned other employees in the Department of Public Works to assist him in carrying out his job. These proposed accommodations are not reasonable. The ADA does not require an employer to create a new position or to eliminate or reallocate essential job functions in accommodating an employee with a disability.

Consequently, the answer to today's QATQQ is FICTION.

This article was originally published on Eric B. Meyer's blog, The Employer Handbook.

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