Legal Insider: Reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities

This is a sponsored column by attorneys John Berry and Kimberly Berry of Berry & Berry, PLLC, an employment and labor law firm located in Northern Virginia that specializes in federal employee, security clearance, retirement and private sector employee matters.

By John V. Berry, Esq.

A reasonable accommodation is a modification to employment conditions or work practices that provides employees with disabilities equal opportunity at employment.

Reasonable accommodations apply to both employees and job applicants in all states and the District of Columbia. Most employees are generally covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), but federal employees are covered under a similar law known as the Rehabilitation Act. In Virginia, employees are also covered under the Virginians with Disabilities Act. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and other civil rights governmental entities enforce these laws.

Requesting a Reasonable Accommodation

A request for reasonable accommodation can be formal or informal. Some employers have specific forms covering reasonable accommodation requests and others simply involve verbal discussions between the employee and his/her immediate supervisor or human resources department.

The most typical accommodation involves an employee who has developed a medical condition or disability that requires some changes to his/her working arrangement.

The discussion between an employer and employee is often referred to as the “interactive process,” which means that the employer works with the employee in an effort to arrive at a reasonable accommodation that does not create an undue hardship on the employer. Although the employer is not required to grant every accommodation request, the employer is required to make a reasonable effort at resolving the accommodation at issue.

Examples of Reasonable Accommodations

  • An employee develops a back disability and requests a new chair because his current chair is aggravating his back condition.
  • An employee has developed a serious medical condition and is undergoing medical treatment in the morning. She informs her supervisor that she needs an adjustment in her start time for eight weeks while she undergoes treatment.
  • An employee develops cancer and requests daily breaks at a certain time to take his medication.
  • An employee develops a disability that prevents her from performing her assigned duties so she requests a position reassignment.

For more information, the EEOC has published additional guidance on reasonable accommodations.

Contact Us

If you are in need of legal representation or advice in security clearance matters, please contact our office at 703-668-0070 or through our contact page to schedule a consultation. Please also visit and like us on Facebook or Twitter.

Recent Stories

The annual Herndon Festival will return in full for 2023 (via Herndon Festival/Instagram) The Herndon Festival will return this year in the summer, bringing back a tradition that was scaled…

A car on Sunrise Valley Drive passes the Innovation Metro station (staff photo by Angela Woolsey) Fairfax County is again asking the state for money to offset anticipated reductions in…

COO Larry Butler will retire in the summer after more than 40 years with Reston Association (courtesy RA) Reston Association‘s COO Larry Butler is officially retiring after more than 40…

Morning Notes

A woman walks her dog at Lake Anne Plaza (staff photo by Angela Woolsey) The President Stops by Springfield — Joe Biden discussed his economic plans yesterday (Thursday) at the…

The Ravel Dance Studio will re-open for fall classes 2020. The school will offer in person and virtual online instruction. With over 5000 sq. ft. to social distance the school has added air ionization filtration systems, ballet barres, acrylic dividers, hands free bathrooms, strict monitoring and more.

The Ravel Dance Studio will produce a Nutcracker Ballet Hollywood style video through the Reston Community CenterStage. REGISTRATION online begins August 17.

Submit your own Community Post here for just $99.

Chris Green is one of the DMV’s finest fitness instructors. A Lululemon and South Block ambassador, he is a coach and mentor to so many. He embodies grace, positivity and motivation in ways that no one else can. If we could all learn a thing or two from him, the world would be a much better place. He does so much for others, and does so with a smile on his face 99% of the time.

He recently ruptured his Achilles and has an incredibly long and tough journey ahead. As if COVID hadn’t impacted fitness professionals enough, throw this in the mix and it’s a double, even triple whammy. CG is no longer able to work and do what he loves for the time being because of this and we’d love your support.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here for just $99.

×

Subscribe to our mailing list