Best Ohio Disability Discrimination Attorney Answer: What disability accommodations are employees entitled to from an employer? Can my employer fire me for being disabled? How much disability time off can I get from my job?
The dedicated lawyers at The Spitz Law Firm have blogged about disability discrimination in the workplace many times before. (See Is It Wrongful Termination To Fire Disabled Workers?; Can My Employer Refuse To Give Me A Reasonable Disability Accommodation?; Is Alcoholism A Disability Under The ADA? – Call The Right Attorney; and Can I Be Fired For Going To The Doctor? – Call The Right Attorney).
The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA“) is the federal law which prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of disability. Although the ADA has been around since 1990, employers can still struggle with implementing the Act’s requirements – often to the detriment of their employees. Ohio disabled workers are also protected under Ohio R.C. § 4112.02(A). One of the clearer aspects of this law is that your employer cannot fire you because you have a disability. Not only is this disability discrimination, but also wrongful termination.
One area where there is some confusion is in the subject of disability accommodation. The ADA makes employers with over fifteen employees provide reasonable accommodations to its disabled employees. Reasonable accommodations, as defined by the ADA, may include:
(A) making existing facilities used by employees readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities; and
(B) job restructuring, part-time or modified work schedules, reassignment to a vacant position, acquisition or modification of equipment or devices, appropriate adjustment or modifications of examinations, training materials or policies, the provision of qualified readers or interpreters, and other similar accommodations for individuals with disabilities.
When an employee becomes suddenly disabled, a reasonable accommodation is sometimes granting the employee leave until he or she can return to work. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC“) recently published a guideline letter intended to assist employers in complying with the ADA when it comes to disabled employees requesting leave from work. (See Top Employment Law Attorney: Do Not File With The EEOC Without Doing This First; File With The EEOC Or Get A Lawyer? – Call The Right Attorney; Should I Get A Lawyer To Help Me File An EEOC Charge?; and Should I File With The EEOC On My Own? – Call The Right Attorney).
In its letter, the EEOC outlines its existing policy on reasonable accommodations under the ADA, stating “The purpose of the ADA’s reasonable accommodation obligation is to require employers to change the way things are customarily done to enable employees with disabilities to work.”
The EEOC goes on to describe how granting a disabled employee leave may be a reasonable accommodation:
Leave as a reasonable accommodation is consistent with this purpose when it enables an employee to return to work following the period of leave . . . requests for leave related to disability can often fall under existing employer policies. In those cases, the employer’s obligation is to provide persons with disabilities access to those policies on equal terms as similarly situated individuals. That is not the end of an employer’s obligation under the ADA though. An employer must consider providing unpaid leave to an employee with a disability as a reasonable accommodation if the employee requires it, and so long as it does not create an undue hardship for the employer.
The guideline letter does elaborate when it explains that an employer does not have to provide paid leave beyond its existing paid leave policy. It also makes clear that an employer can still deny requests for leave when the leave would create what is called an “undue hardship” on the employer.
Whether a request for an accommodation under the ADA is considered an “undue hardship“ is determined on a case-by-case basis. The EEOC says that some factors to consider include (1) the amount of leave needed; (2) the frequency of the leave; (3) whether there is flexibility in the days of the week needed for leave; (4) whether the employee’s leave will significantly impact co-workers and their ability to do their jobs; and (5) whether customers/clients of the employer will be negatively affected.
If there is no undue hardship, then disabled employees are entitled to return to their original job position once they return from their leave.
As you can see, employers often do not have a grasp on what the ADA requires them to do. While the EEOC can help employers comply with the law, disabled employees are still paying the price for employers’ disability discrimination.
Having to live with a disability is difficult enough without worrying about the effect it may have on your job. If you are disabled or your employer perceives you as being disabled; and you have been fired, wrongfully terminated, discriminated against, demoted, wrongfully disciplined, denied wages, or even think that you might need a disability discrimination lawyer, then call the right attorney to schedule a free and confidential consultation. Call our Ohio employment law attorneys at (216) 291-4744. The best option is not to wait. The Spitz Law Firm, and its attorneys are experienced and dedicated to protecting disabled employees’ rights under ADA and Ohio employment law.
This employment law website is an advertisement. The materials available at the top of this page and on this employment law website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. If you are still asking, “how do I get a work accommodation for my disability?”, “am I disabled under the ADA?”, “what should I do if…” or “can my boss fired me for …”, it would be best for you to contact an Ohio attorney to obtain advice with respect to disability discrimination questions or any particular employment law issue. Use and access to this employment law website or any of the links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship. The legal opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual lawyer and may not reflect the opinions of The Spitz Law Firm, attorney, Brian Spitz or any individual attorney.