Employers are required to accommodate employees in the workplace under those protected grounds listed to the point of ‘undue hardship.’ In short, this means that accommodations cannot just be simple lip service, and are not just ‘nice to have.’ Employers will have to make real, concentrated efforts to accommodate employees.
Luckily for employers, many accommodations can be made without extreme cost or any serious interruption to the business. For example, employees who need to care for young children or take an elderly parent to a medical appointment may simply require some changes in their scheduling in order to meet their needs based on their family status – a protected ground.
For employees requiring accommodation on the grounds of disability, the needs are varied but can usually be adapted to fit the role. Hard of hearing employees may require the installation of a visual smoke alarm, or special telephone technology. Other employees may require specific break times, or the aid of a service animal. Most of these accommodations are easily feasible, but can be necessary for the employee to succeed.