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Accommodation of a disability

May an employer ask on a job application or in the interview whether a job applicant is disabled?

No. An employer may not make a pre-employment inquiry on an application form or in an interview as to whether, or to what extent, an individual is disabled. The employer may ask a job applicant whether he or she can perform particular job functions. These provisions are intended to prevent the employer from basing hiring and employment decisions on unfounded assumptions about the effects of an actual or perceived disability.

If the applicant has a disability known to the employer, the employer may ask how he or she can perform job functions that the employer considers difficult or impossible to perform because of the disability, and whether a reasonable accommodation is needed. If the answer is yes, the employer has a legal duty to engage in an interactive dialogue about possible accommodations.

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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