Commuting Accommodations & the ADA

Hello, and welcome to LegalEase.  Today’s topic is about commuting accommodations. What are commuting accommodations?

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, employers  are required to provide reasonable accommodations for disabled employees so long as the accommodations do not create undue hardships. The EEOC has always said that reasonable accommodations can include helping employees commute to and from work. What does this mean? Quite frankly, even though the EEO has always mentioned commuting accommodations, there have not been many challenges to these accommodations in federal court.  Now, more federal courts are addressing the issue.

Let’s talk about it in more detail.

Here is an example: An employee who works the night shift recently developed a cataract and tells the employer, “I can no longer see at night.” The employee asks, “May I please have a shift change to the day shift?” Is this something an employer should accommodate? On the one hand, it relates to the employee’s issue before and after hours. On the other hand, offering an accommodation would help the employee commute to and from work.  Federal courts say yes, the employer should provide an accommodation  in this circumstance.

Courts have not ruled that employers need to help with major issues like reliable transportation. The rulings have been limited to things like shift modifications. However, employers should be aware of these cases and seek legal counsel before denying commuting accommodation requests.

I hope this was helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. Our link is in our bio. Thank you for joining LegalEase.