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Accommodation of a disability

Disability discrimination: It is illegal for an employer to avoid engaging in an interactive dialogue with an employee who asks for an accommodation of his/her disability

Employers are duty bound to engage in an interactive dialogue with a disabled employee to identify an appropriate, reasonable accommodation that will permit the employee to continue to do his/her job.  An employee’s request for reasonable accommodation necessarily triggers a corresponding obligation on the party of the employer to engage in a significant amount of direct and meaningful communication with the employee.

An employer’s failure to engage in interactive process can constitute a failure to reasonably accommodate. An employer may not discipline or terminate a qualified handicapped employee unless it can show that the requested accommodation would constitute an undue hardship.  The refusal of an employer to participate in the interactive process can result in a finding of illegal disability discrimination.

Pamela A. Smith
Law Office of Pamela A. Smith
233 Needham Street, Suite 540
Newton, MA 02464
617-969-2900

pam@pamsmithlaw.com

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