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ADA: Reasonable Accommodations

Newsletter • volume 1 • number 5

Perhaps the most controversial aspect of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the requirement for "reasonable accommodations" in the workplace for persons with disabilities.

Reasonable accommodations are those which are not "excessively costly, extensive, substantial, or disruptive, or which would fundamentally alter the nature or operation of the business." This definition is obviously open to interpretation by employers and candidates. Attorneys full expect to battle out this definition in the courtroom.

Interviewers should ask the candidate for accommodation suggestions, but not offer any reaction or opinion regarding the "reasonableness" of the suggestions. In fact, the interviewer should not use the term "reasonable" when discussing accommodations, as it is a legal term and of little relevance between the interviewer and candidate.