Examples of Undue Hardship in the Workplace

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Examples of Undue Hardship in the Workplace

In the workplace, employers are required to make reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities to perform their job duties. However, there are certain circumstances where the accommodations would cause significant difficulty or expense for the employer. These situations are known as undue hardships.

Undue hardship is defined as a situation where an employer would experience significant difficulty or expense in providing an accommodation. Here are some examples of undue hardship in the workplace:

Significant Difficulty

If an accommodation would be too difficult or disruptive for the employer to implement, it may be considered an undue hardship. For example, if an employee requests a specific schedule change to accommodate their disability but no other employee is available to cover their shift, it may be too difficult for the employer to grant the accommodation without significantly impacting the business’s operations.

Excessive Cost

If an accommodation would be too expensive for the employer to provide, it may be considered an undue hardship. The cost of the accommodation must be considered in relation to the employer’s size and financial resources. For example, if an employee requests a specialized piece of equipment that costs tens of thousands of dollars, it may be an excessive cost for a small business to bear.

Impact on Business Operations

If an accommodation would disrupt or jeopardize the safety of other employees or clients, it may be considered an undue hardship. For example, if an employee requests a service animal in the workplace but another employee is severely allergic to the animal, accommodating the request could put the allergic employee’s health at risk.

Unreasonable Requests

If the requested accommodation is deemed unreasonable, it may be considered an undue hardship. For example, if an employee requests to work from home but they are required to be in the office to perform their job duties or if they request a specific piece of equipment that is not essential to their job duties.

In conclusion, while employers are required to make reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities, there are certain circumstances where the accommodations would cause significant difficulty or expense for the employer. Employers must carefully consider the impact of an accommodation request and weigh it against their business’s size, resources, and operations to determine if it is an undue hardship.

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