IN BRIEF

Disability Discrimination Laws by State

December 20, 2021

[Bloomberg Law has the legal content and tools you need to stay on top of the dynamic field of labor and employment law.]

This map detailing disability discrimination laws by state saves you time with fast and easy access to state-by-state provisions related to disability protections.

There are myriad laws related to disability on the federal, state, and local level. While some of them are similar to those of the ADA, laws differ by state and can be very specific. In some cases, more than one law applies to the same situation. In those cases, employers must be careful that their policies and employment decisions comply with all applicable laws.

It’s important when looking at the chart below to consider each provision, requirement, and exception individually.

Note: Data on this page is current through Nov. 4, 2021. Bloomberg Law subscribers can access the latest information here. Not a subscriber? Request a demo.

Alabama

No state statutory or regulatory provisions apply generally to private-sector employment.

Alaska

[Note: The Alaska Supreme Court has held that an employer’s failure to reasonably accommodate an employee’s disability can be considered disability discrimination under the fair employment practices law (Moody-Herrera v. State, Dep’t of Natural Resources, 967 P.2d 79 (Alaska 1998)).]

If a qualified employee with a disability seeks to use a service animal to perform the essential functions of his or her job, the employer must treat such a request as a request for reasonable accommodation and engage in an interactive process to determine if the accommodation is reasonable.

Alaska Admin. Code tit. 6, § 30.610

Arizona

Employers must provide reasonable accommodations to applicants or employees who make their disabilities known and request accommodation. Employers aren’t required to make any accommodation that would cause undue hardship to their business. Employers also aren’t required to provide a reasonable accommodation or a reasonable modification of policies, practices, or procedures to employees who meet the disability definition solely because they are regarded as disabled.

Reasonable accommodations include job restructuring; part-time or modified work schedules; reassignment to a vacant position; acquiring or modifying equipment or devices; adjusting or modifying examinations, training materials, and policies; and providing qualified readers, taped texts, auxiliary aids and services, or interpreters.

Reasonable accommodations cause undue hardship if they require significant difficulty or expense in terms of the nature and cost of accommodations; affect facilities’ overall financial resources and based on the size; number, type, and locations of facilities; the type of operations, including workforce composition, structure, and functions; and relationship of affected facilities.

§ 41-140541-146141-1463

Arkansas

No state statutory or regulatory provisions apply generally to private-sector employment.

California

Employers must make reasonable accommodations for employees’ and applicants’ known physical or mental disabilities, unless they can show that these accommodations would cause undue hardship. Employers can’t retaliate or otherwise discriminate against employees and applicants for requesting reasonable accommodations, regardless of whether their request is granted.

Reasonable accommodations are work modifications or adjustments that enable employees or applicants with disabilities to receive equal consideration for a job, perform essential job duties, or have the same employment benefits and privileges as similarly situated employees without disabilities. Employment benefits include employment, promotions, participation in training programs leading to employment or promotions, participation in unpaid internships, or other limited-duration programs providing unpaid work experience, compensation, the provision of a discrimination-free and harassment-free workplace and other favorable terms, conditions, and privileges of employment.

Reasonable accommodations can include:

  • making facilities readily accessible to employees or applicants with disabilities;
  • job restructuring;
  • providing part-time or modified work schedules;
  • reassigning employees to vacant positions;
  • acquiring or modifying equipment or devices;
  • adjusting or modifying examinations, training materials or policies;
  • providing assistive aids and services such as qualified readers or interpreters;
  • allowing employees or applicants with disabilities to bring assistive animals to the workplace;
  • altering when or how essential job duties are performed; and
  • providing paid or unpaid leave for treatment and recovery.

Undue hardship means actions that require significant difficulty or expense based on:

  • the nature and cost of accommodations;
  • affected facilities’ overall financial resources and workforce size;
  • the impact of accommodations on expenses, resources, and facility operations;
  • employers’ overall financial resources and overall business size in terms of workforce size and number, type, and location of facilities;
  • employers’ type of operations, including workforce composition, structure, and functions; and
  • affected facilities’ geographic separateness or administrative or fiscal relationship.

Interactive process: Employers must engage in a timely, good-faith, interactive process with employees and applicants who have known physical or mental disabilities to identify and implement effective, reasonable accommodations. Employers must participate in this process before claiming that accommodations would cause undue hardship. The process requires an individualized assessment of the job and specific physical or mental limitations that directly relate to employees’ and applicants’ need for reasonable accommodations. Employers aren’t required to eliminate essential job duties as an accommodation, but might need to accommodate employees or applicants with disabilities in ways that enable them to meet quality or quantity standards.

Employers must initiate the interactive process when:

  • employees and applicants request reasonable accommodations;
  • they become aware of employees’ and applicants’ need for reasonable accommodations through a third party or direct observation; or
  • employees exhaust leave under relevant federal or state leave laws and require additional time to recuperate or other accommodations to perform essential job duties.

Employees or applicants with disabilities must:

  • provide reasonable medical documentation, if requested, to confirm the existence of their disabilities and their need for reasonable accommodations;
  • provide information about their educational qualifications and work experience if their reassignment to another position is considered as an accommodation; and
  • communicate directly with employers when possible.

Employers can require employees and applicants who request accommodations to provide reasonable medical information, including second opinions. If employees need reasonable accommodations that extend beyond one year, employers can ask them to provide medical documents substantiating their need for these accommodations on an annual basis. Employers must grant reasonable accommodation requests or reject them after considering them and discussing alternative accommodations with employees and applicants. Employers have the right to choose among effective accommodations, but can’t require employees or applicants with disabilities to accept accommodations and can’t retaliate against them for refusing accommodations. Employers can, however, inform employees and applicants that refusing accommodations might make them unable to perform their essential job duties.

Employers have a permissible defense if they can show, after engaging in the interactive process, that there is no reasonable accommodation would allow employees or applicants with disabilities to perform their essential job functions in a way that won’t endanger their own or other people’s health or safety because their job imposes an imminent, substantial degree of risk to them or other people. Employers can’t base this defense on conditions or diseases with a future risk, unless the conditions or diseases currently interfere with employees’ or applicants’ ability to perform their job in a way that won’t endanger themselves or others. The merits of this defense are based on factors such as the duration of risk; the nature, severity, and imminence of potential harm; the likelihood that harm will occur; and relevant information about past work history. The analysis of these factors should be based on reasonable medical judgment that relies on the most current medical knowledge or the best available objective evidence.

Cal. Gov’t Code §§ 12926 to 12926.112940Cal. Code Regs. tit. 2, §§ 11064 to 1106511067 to 11069

Colorado

Fair employment practices law: Employers must make reasonable accommodations for the known disabilities of qualified employees or applicants with disabilities, unless employers can show that these accommodations would impose undue hardship or require an additional expense. Reasonable accommodations can include making facilities accessible and usable for people with disabilities, job restructuring, part-time or modified work schedules, acquiring or modifying equipment or devices, and providing readers or interpreters.

Undue hardship is determined based on factors such as the:

  • overall size of employers’ operation in terms of workforce and budget size and the number and type of facilities;
  • type of employers’ operation, including workforce composition and structure; and
  • nature, cost, and funding of needed accommodations, including sources such as the Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, employees’ and applicants’ personal resources, and private organizations that provide financial support and auxiliary aids.

Additional expense is an expense that goes beyond what is needed to allow a person with disabilities to participate in employment on the same level as other people.

Colo. Rev. Stat. §§ 24-34-401 to 24-34-402  (see Smart Code® for the latest cases); 3 Colo. Code Regs. §§ 708-1-10.2, 708-1-60.2, 708-1-60.6

Covid-19 Update: Effective March 24, 2021, to April 16, 2021, Executive Order D 2020 235 (extended most recently by Executive Order D 2021 69) requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations and prohibits employers from discriminating against employees who are showing symptoms of Covid-19 or who have been in contact with a known positive case of Covid-19.

Connecticut

Fair employment practices law: [Note: The Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled that the state’s fair employment practices law requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for employees’ disabilities and engage in an interactive process upon receiving requests for such accommodations (Curry v. Allan S. Goodman, Inc., 944 A.2d 925 (Conn. 2008)).]

Delaware

Qualified employees and applicants with disabilities can request reasonable accommodations in a good-faith effort to seek an employment opportunity. As part of this request, they must:

  • inform employers of their disabilities;
  • submit any necessary medical documentation;
  • suggest possible accommodations that are known to them; and
  • cooperate in any subsequent discussions and evaluations to determine possible or feasible accommodations.

After this request is made, or when potential accommodations are obvious under the circumstances, employers must investigate whether reasonable accommodations can be made. Employees and applicants can be required to accept the employment opportunity in writing as a condition for initiating this investigation, if requested in writing by employers.

Reasonable accommodations are reasonable workplace changes that would accommodate employees’ and applicants’ known disabilities by enabling them to satisfactorily perform their essential job duties. Reasonable accommodations can include making facilities accessible, modifying equipment, providing mechanical aids to assist with operating equipment, and making reasonable changes to schedules or job duties.

Unless otherwise provided by applicable laws, employers aren’t required to:

  • provide accommodations of a personal nature, such as eyeglasses, hearing aids, or prostheses, except under the same terms and conditions that such items generally are provided to employees;
  • reassign employees’ job duties without assigning them new job duties to compensate for those that were reassigned;
  • reassign employees’ job duties if this reassignment would significantly increase the skill, effort, or responsibility requirements for other employees;
  • make accommodations for a new employee where the cost would exceed 5 percent of the employee’s annual salary or annualized hourly wage;
  • make accommodations for an existing employee where the cost would put total accommodation costs for the employee, since initial acceptance of employment, at more than 5 percent of the employee’s current salary or annualized hourly wage; or
  • make changes that would impose undue hardship on employers (accommodation costs that don’t exceed the above 5 percent thresholds are presumed not to cause undue hardship).

Del. Code Ann. tit. 19, §§ 722 to 723

District of Columbia

Employers must make reasonable accommodations, if possible, when employees’ specific physical or mental disability prevents the normal operation of a business or particular activity in existing structures. Employers can’t refuse to hire applicants with disabilities if their disabilities affect a secondary part of the job and reasonable accommodations can be made through minor job restructuring; in addition, they must retain employees who become disabled on the job if reasonable accommodations can be made.

Reasonable accommodations are job description, workplace design or physical renovation modifications. Determining whether modifications are reasonable accommodations depends on factors such as: their nature and cost; the number of people, with or without disabilities, who would benefit from them; and their benefits or drawbacks in terms of employers’ business type and composition and the workplace’s physical structure and layout.

D.C. Mun. Regs. tit. 4, § 514

Florida

No state statutory or regulatory provisions apply generally to private-sector employment.

Georgia

Employers aren’t required to modify their physical facilities or grounds in any way or exercise a higher degree of caution for applicants or employees with disabilities than for applicants or employees without disabilities.

Ga. Code Ann. § 34-6A-4

Hawaii

Employers must make reasonable accommodations for the known physical or mental limitations of otherwise qualified employees and applicants with disabilities, unless employers can show that these accommodations would impose undue hardship on their business operations. Employers can’t deny employment opportunities to employees and applicants with disabilities based on their need for reasonable accommodations.

Reasonable accommodations are modifications or adjustments:

  • to the hiring process that enable applicants with disabilities to be considered for a position;
  • to the work environment, or the way or circumstances under which a position is normally performed, that enable employees and applicants with disabilities to perform essential job functions;
  • that enable employees with disabilities to enjoy the same employment benefits and privileges that are available to similarly situated employees without disabilities; or
  • to schedules or leave policies that enable employees with a record of impairments to attend follow-up or monitoring appointments with a health-care provider.

Reasonable accommodations can include making facilities accessible and usable for people with disabilities; restructuring jobs; providing part-time or modified work schedules; reassigning employees to vacant positions; acquiring or modifying equipment or devices; adjusting or modifying examinations, training materials, or policies; and providing qualified readers or interpreters.

Undue hardship means a significant difficulty or expense, based on factors such as:

  • the nature and net cost of accommodations, taking into consideration the availability of tax credits or deductions and outside funding;
  • the affected facility’s overall financial resources and workforce size;
  • the impact of accommodations on expenses and resources;
  • employers’ overall financial resources;
  • employers’ overall business size in terms of workforce size and the number, type, and location of facilities;
  • employers’ type of operations, including their workforce composition, structure, and functions and their geographic separateness from and administrative or fiscal relationship with the affected facility;
  • the impact of accommodations on the affected facility’s operation, including its ability to conduct business and other employees’ ability to perform their job duties;
  • the impact of accommodations on collective bargaining agreements.

Employees don’t have to specifically request reasonable accommodations; they only need to let employers know that they need an adjustment or change to do their job because of limitations caused by disabilities. Employers that receive accommodation requests must initiate an interactive process with employees and applicants to determine appropriate reasonable accommodations. This process must identify the limitations resulting from their disabilities, along with reasonable accommodations that could overcome those limitations.

Qualified employees and applicants with disabilities aren’t required to accept an accommodation, aid, service, opportunity, or benefit. However, they aren’t considered qualified if they reject a reasonable accommodation, aid, service, opportunity, or benefit—after being notified by employers of the possible consequences of this rejection—and as a result can no longer perform their essential job functions.

Employers aren’t required to make unreasonable structural changes or expensive equipment alterations to accommodate the employment of people with disabilities. They also aren’t required to accommodate the needs of nondisabled people, who are associated with or related to people with disabilities, in ways that aren’t required by Title I of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.

Haw. Rev. Stat. § 378-3Haw. Code R. 12-46-18212-46-18712-46-193

Idaho

Reasonable accommodations are adjustments that don’t:

  • unduly disrupt or interfere with employers’ normal operations;
  • threaten the health or safety of the person with the disability or others;
  • contradict a business necessity of the employer; or
  • impose undue hardship on an employer based on the employer’s size, type of business, financial resources, and estimated cost and extent of the adjustment.

Illinois

Employers must make reasonable accommodations for the known physical or mental limitations of otherwise qualified employees and applicants with disabilities, unless employers can show that these accommodations would be prohibitively expensive or would unduly disrupt normal business operations.

If employees and applicants with disabilities are seeking reasonable accommodations, they must inform employers of their disabilities and submit any necessary medical documentation. Normally they must initiate the request for reasonable accommodations, and they must cooperate in any discussions and evaluations to determine possible or feasible accommodations. Employers must provide reasonable accommodations when this request is initiated or when potential accommodations are obvious.

Reasonable accommodations can include altering facilities or worksites, modifying work schedules or leave policies, acquiring equipment, job restructuring, and providing readers or interpreters. Reasonable accommodations don’t include personal accommodations such as eyeglasses or hearing aids or superfluous accommodations such as chauffeurs. Employers aren’t required to hire two full-time employees to perform one job in order to accommodate employees with disabilities.

Determining whether accommodations would be prohibitively expensive or disruptive involves weighing their costs and inconveniences against their immediate and potential benefits. Immediate benefits are the facilitation of employment for people with disabilities. Potential benefits include facilitating access by other employees, applicants, clients, and customers with disabilities.

Ill. Admin. Code tit. 56, § 2500.40

Indiana

Disability discrimination law: Employers must make reasonable accommodations for employees’ and applicants’ known physical or mental disabilities. Employers can engage in an interactive process with employees and applicants to identify effective reasonable accommodations. Reasonable accommodations can include making existing facilities readily accessible to employees with disabilities, modifying work schedules, obtaining special equipment, restructuring jobs, reassigning employees to vacant positions, modifying examinations or training materials and providing readers or interpreters.

Employers aren’t required to make accommodations that impose undue hardship because, for example, they are unduly expensive, require extensive physical or structural modifications to the workplace or fundamentally change business operations.

Employees and applicants aren’t required to accept employers’ accommodations; however, they can’t sue employers for disability discrimination if they rejected accommodations that they need to perform their essential job functions.

Ind. Code §§ 22-9-5-722-9-5-17 to 22-9-5-18Ind. Admin. Code tit. 910, r. 3-1-13-2-13 to 3-2-143-2-163-3-6

Iowa

Employers must make reasonable accommodations for the known physical or mental limitations of otherwise qualified employees or applicants with disabilities, unless employers can show that these accommodations would impose undue hardship on their business operations. Employers can’t deny employment opportunities to qualified employees or applicants with disabilities based on their need for such accommodations. Reasonable accommodations can include making facilities readily accessible to and usable by employees or applicants with disabilities; job restructuring; part-time or modified work schedules; acquiring or modifying equipment or devices; and providing readers or interpreters.

Determining undue hardship depends on factors such as:

  • employers’ overall business size in terms of workforce and budget size and the number and type of their facilities;
  • employers’ operation type, including their workforce composition and structure; and
  • the nature and cost of needed accommodations.

If employees become disabled for any reason during their period of employment, employers must make every reasonable effort to allow these employees to continue in their position or another position and to assist with their rehabilitation.

Iowa Admin. Code r. 161-8.27 to 161-8.28

Kansas

Employers must make reasonable accommodation to known physical and mental limitations of otherwise qualified applicants or employees. Examples of reasonable accommodation include modifications or adjustments to job application processes that enable qualified applicants with disabilities to be considered, as well as job restructuring, reassignment, modification to the work environment or circumstances that enable qualified employees to perform the essential functions of their jobs or enjoy the same benefits and privileges of employment as employees without disabilities. When interviewing applicants with disabilities, for example, employers might have to provide interpreters if applicants are hearing-impaired or conduct interviews in rooms accessible to applicants using wheelchairs. When conducting employment tests, employers might have to offer tests in Braille or allow the use of readers for applicants or employees who are blind.

Employers aren’t required to make any accommodation that would create undue hardship because it is unduly expensive or requires extensive physical or structural modifications to the workplace or that would fundamentally change business operations.

Kentucky

Fair employment practices law: Employers must make reasonable accommodations for employees’ and applicants’ disabilities, unless they can show that these accommodations would cause undue hardship.

Reasonable accommodations can include making existing facilities readily accessible and usable; job restructuring; part-time or modified work schedules; reassignment to a vacant position; acquiring or modifying equipment or devices; adjusting or modifying examinations, training materials, or policies; and providing qualified readers or interpreters.

Undue hardship is an action that requires significant difficulty or expense in terms of:

  • the nature and cost of accommodations;
  • affected facilities’ overall financial resources and workforce size;
  • the impact of accommodations on affected facilities’ expenses, resources, and operations;
  • employers’ overall financial resources and workforce size;
  • the number, type, and location of employers’ facilities; and
  • the type of operations, including workforce composition, structure, and functions, and the geographic separateness and administrative or fiscal relationship of affected facilities.

Louisiana

Employers can’t fail or refuse to make reasonable accommodations based on disability if employees and applicants with disabilities are otherwise qualified and can perform their job duties with reasonable accommodation. Reasonable accommodations are adjustments or modifications for the known physical limitations of otherwise qualified employees and applicants with disabilities if such accommodations don’t impose undue hardship on employers.

Undue hardship is determined on a case-by-case basis by considering employees’ and applicants’ specific disability, the position’s essential job duties, and the working environment.

Maine

If employees and applicants request accommodations for their known disabilities or medical conditions, employers must engage in a good-faith, documented process to identify effective, reasonable accommodations. Employers aren’t required to make accommodations that would cause undue hardship because they would be unduly expensive, require extensive physical or structural modifications to the workplace, or would fundamentally change business operations. Employers also aren’t required to provide reasonable accommodations to individuals who are only regarded as disabled.

Reasonable accommodations include, but are not limited to, making worksites accessible, modifying or acquiring equipment or devices, restructuring jobs, creating part-time or modified work schedules, reassigning employees to vacant positions, modifying examinations, providing qualified readers or interpreters, and leaves of absence.

Employers can’t require employees and applicants to accept accommodations. However, employees won’t be considered qualified if they reject a reasonable accommodation that is needed to perform their essential job functions. Employers also can’t deny employment benefits because of a prospective need to make reasonable accommodations for employees’ disabilities.

Maryland

Employers can’t fail or refuse to make reasonable accommodations for the known physical or mental limitations of qualified employees or applicants with disabilities, unless employers can show that these accommodations would impose undue hardship on their business operations. Employers also can’t deny employment opportunities to qualified employees or applicants with disabilities based on the need to accommodate their physical or mental limitations, unless these accommodations would be unreasonable.

Reasonable accommodations can include:

  • making workplace facilities readily accessible to and usable by people with disabilities;
  • providing or modifying equipment or devices;
  • job restructuring;
  • part-time or modified work schedules;
  • reassigning or transferring employees to a vacant position, a light-duty job, another work location, or another alternative employment opportunity available under an existing policy or practice;
  • telework arrangements where employees perform some or all of their job duties at their home or a designated location other than employers’ normal worksite;
  • allowing employees to use paid or unpaid sick, disability, medical, or other leave that is available under an existing policy or practice;
  • adjusting or modifying examinations, training materials, or policies;
  • allowing employees to use a service animal;
  • providing applicants with disabilities an opportunity to demonstrate their relevant knowledge, skills, or abilities through testing methods adapted to their special circumstances;
  • making reasonable modifications to rules, policies, or practices so that employees with disabilities can perform their essential job functions; and
  • reanalyzing job specifications, qualifications, or criteria to determine if they can be waived or modified.

Employers have the burden of proving their inability to make reasonable accommodations. Determining whether accommodations would impose undue hardship is based on the following factors:

  • the nature and cost of the accommodations;
  • the financial resources of employers and, if applicable, their parent corporation;
  • the size of employers’ business in terms of the number and type of facilities;
  • the type of employers’ business, including their workforce composition and structure;
  • employers’ ability to conduct business with the accommodations;
  • the accommodations’ impact on other employees’ performance; and
  • legitimate safety concerns based on actual information or data instead of speculation, conjecture, stereotypes, or generalizations about people with disabilities.

Interns: Employers can’t fail or refuse to make reasonable accommodations for the known physical or mental limitations of qualified interns with disabilities, unless employers can show that these accommodations would impose undue hardship on their business operations.

Interns are people who perform work for employers for training purposes if:

  • employers aren’t committed to hiring them at the end of their training period;
  • they agree with employers that they aren’t entitled to wages for the work they perform;
  • the work supplements their educational training and provides them with beneficial experience that might enhance their employability; and
  • the work is closely supervised by existing staff and doesn’t displace regular employees.

Reference citations: Md. Ann. Code Ann., State Gov’t §§ 20-60320-60620-610

Massachusetts

Employers can be required to provide reasonable accommodations for the physical or mental limitations of qualified employees and applicants with handicaps, unless employers can show that these accommodations would impose undue hardship on their business. Undue hardship is determined based on factors such as:

  • employers’ overall business size in terms of workforce size, number and type of facilities, and budget size or available assets;
  • employers’ type of operation, including workforce composition and structure; and
  • the nature and cost of needed accommodations.

Covid-19: NOTE: The U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts granted a preliminary injunction entitling an employee with asthma to telework as a reasonable accommodation under federal and Massachusetts law. The court found that the employee was likely to establish that their asthma is a disability during the new coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, and that they are able to perform their essential job duties remotely (Peeples v. Clinical Support Options, Inc., No. 3:20-cv-30144-KAR, 2020 BL 353479 (D. Mass. Sept. 16, 2020)).

Michigan

Employers must accommodate people with disabilities, unless they can show that these accommodations would impose undue hardship. Reasonable accommodations aren’t considered preferential treatment or employee benefits.

Equipment or devices: An accommodation requiring the purchase of any equipment or device imposes undue hardship if:

  • employers (excluding public employers and nonprofit organizations) have fewer than four employees and the total cost exceeds the state average weekly wage;
  • employers have four to 14 employees and the total cost exceeds 1.5 times the state average weekly wage; or
  • employers have 15 or more employees and the total cost exceeds 2.5 times the state average weekly wage.

These cost thresholds are reduced by 50 percent for temporary employees who are hired for up to 90 days. The state average weekly wage is determined by the Michigan Employment Security Commission.

Readers or interpreters: An accommodation requiring the employment of readers or interpreters imposes undue hardship if:

  • employers have fewer than four employees and the cost exceeds seven times the state average weekly wage for the first year and 5 times the state average weekly wage for each year thereafter;
  • employers have four to 14 employees and the cost exceeds 10 times the state average weekly wage for the first year and seven times the state average weekly wage for each year thereafter; or
  • employers have 15 or more employees and the cost exceeds 15 times the state average weekly wage for the first year and 10 times the state average weekly wage for each year thereafter.

These cost thresholds are reduced by 50 percent for temporary employees who are hired for up to 90 days. The state average weekly wage is determined by the Michigan Employment Security Commission.

Job restructuring or schedule altering: Employers with 15 or more employees can be required to restructure jobs and alter employees’ schedules as an accommodation for minor or infrequent job duties. Employers with fewer than 15 employees aren’t required to restructure jobs or alter employees’ schedule as an accommodation.

Minnesota

Employers must make reasonable accommodations for job applicants or qualified employees with disabilities, unless a bona fide occupational qualification exists or the employer can show that such accommodations would impose undue hardship on the employer’s business. Effective July 1, 2021, to determine appropriate reasonable accommodations, employers must initiate an informal, interactive process with employees or applicants in need of an accommodation. The process should identify the limitations resulting from the disability and any potential reasonable accommodations that could overcome those limitations.

Reasonable accommodations can include making facilities usable by people with disabilities, restructuring jobs or work schedules, reassigning to vacant positions, obtaining and modifying special equipment, and providing interpreters, readers, and aides on a periodic basis. Undue hardship is determined based on factors such as employers’ overall workforce and budget size; number and type of facilities; type of operations; workforce composition and structure; the nature, cost, and funding of needed accommodations; and employers’ documented good faith efforts to explore less restrictive or less expensive alternatives.

Employers aren’t required to pay for applicants’ accommodations that can be obtained elsewhere free of charge. If a particular accommodation would result in undue hardship, however, employers still have to provide any alternative accommodation that is available and wouldn’t create undue hardship.

Minn. Stat. §§ 363A.03363A.08 (2021 Minn. Laws 11 (HF 63)), 363A.25

[Note: The Minnesota Supreme Court has held that the fair employment practices law doesn’t require an employer to engage in an interactive process with an employee or applicant to determine whether they can be reasonably accommodated. McBee v. Team Indus., Inc., 925 N.W.2d 222, 229 (Minn. 2019). Effective July 1, 2021, 2021 Minn. Laws 11 (HF 63) amended the law to require employers to engage in an interactive process.]

Mississippi

No data

Missouri

Employers must make reasonable accommodations for the known limitations of employees and applicants with disabilities. Accommodations can include:

  • making workplace facilities readily accessible to and usable by people with disabilities;
  • job restructuring;
  • part-time or modified work schedules;
  • acquiring or modifying equipment or devices; and
  • providing readers or interpreters.

Determining whether accommodations are reasonable depends on factors such as:

  • the nature and cost of needed accommodations;
  • the size and nature of employers’ business, including the number and type of their facilities and their workforce structure and composition;
  • employers’ previous good-faith efforts to accommodate similar disabilities; and
  • employers’ ownership interest in the subject of proposed accommodations, including their authority to make the accommodations under the terms of a bona fide lease or other agreement.

Montana

Fair employment practices law: Employers must provide reasonable accommodations if needed for the known physical or mental limitations of qualified employees and applicants with disabilities, unless these accommodations would impose undue hardship on employers or endanger anyone’s health or safety. Employers can’t deny equal employment opportunities to employees and applicants with disabilities because of their need for reasonable accommodations. Employees and applicants with disabilities are qualified if they can perform their essential job functions with or without reasonable accommodations.

Reasonable accommodations can include:

  • making existing worksites readily accessible to and usable by employees and applicants with disabilities;
  • job restructuring and part-time or modified work schedules;
  • reassigning employees to vacant positions for which they are qualified;
  • acquiring or modifying equipment or devices;
  • adjusting or modifying examinations and training materials or policies; and
  • providing qualified readers or interpreters.

Reasonable accommodations don’t include accommodations that would endanger anyone’s health or safety. Before taking adverse action on these grounds, however, employers should independently assess whether the accommodations would create a reasonable probability of substantial harm; failure to do so creates a disputable presumption that this justification is a pretext for discrimination based on disability.

Undue hardship is an action that requires significant difficulty or extraordinary cost, when considering:

  • the nature and expense of accommodations;
  • affected facilities’ overall financial resources and workforce size;
  • the impact of accommodations on affected facilities’ expenses, resources, and operations;
  • employers’ overall financial resources and workforce size;
  • the number, type, and location of employers’ facilities; and
  • the type of employers’ operations, including their workforce composition, structure, and functions and the geographic separateness and administrative or fiscal relationship between employers and their affected facilities.

Nebraska

When an applicant or employee requests accommodation of a disability or medical condition, employers must identify an effective reasonable accommodation. Examples of reasonable accommodations include making existing facilities usable by employees with disabilities, restructuring jobs, creating part-time or modified work schedules, reassigning employees to vacant positions, or modifying equipment or tools so that they can be used by employees with disabilities. When interviewing applicants with disabilities, employers might have to provide interpreters if applicants are hearing impaired or conduct interviews in rooms accessible to applicants using wheelchairs. When conducting employment tests, employers might have to offer tests in Braille or allow the use of readers for applicants or employees who are blind.

Employers aren’t required to make any accommodation that would create undue hardship because (for example) the accommodation is unduly expensive, requires extensive physical or structural modifications to the workplace, or would fundamentally change business operations. If a particular accommodation would result in undue hardship, however, employers still must provide any alternative accommodation that is available and wouldn’t create undue hardship.

Nevada

No data

New Hampshire

Employers must make reasonable accommodations for qualified employees’ and applicants’ known disabilities, unless employers can show that these accommodations would impose undue hardship on their business operations. Reasonable accommodations can include making existing facilities readily accessible to persons with disabilities, restructuring jobs, modifying work schedules, reassigning employees to vacant positions, providing qualified readers or interpreters, and modifying equipment or devices. Qualified means that employees and applicants with disabilities can, with or without reasonable accommodation, perform the essential functions of the jobs they hold or seek. If the employer prepared a written job description before advertising or interviewing applicants for a job, this description is evidence of the job’s essential functions.

Employers can’t deny employment opportunities, compensation, or terms, conditions, and privileges of employment to employees and applicants based on their need for reasonable accommodations.

Undue hardship means an action requiring significant difficulty or expense. In determining whether an accommodation would impose an undue hardship on an employer, factors to be considered include:

  • the nature and cost of the accommodation needed;
  • the overall financial resources of the facility involved; the number of persons employed at such facility; the effect on expenses and resources; or the impact otherwise of such accommodation upon the operation of the facility;
  • the overall financial resources of the employer; the overall size of the business of an employer with respect to the number of its employees; and the number, type, and location of its facilities; and
  • the type of operation or operations of the employer, including the composition, structure, and functions of the workforce of such employer; and the geographic separateness, or administrative or fiscal relationship, of the facility in question to the employer.

New Jersey

Employers must make reasonable accommodations for the limitations of employees or applicants with disabilities, unless employers can show that these accommodations would impose undue hardship on their business operations. Employers also must consider the possibility of reasonable accommodations before discharging, demoting, or refusing to promote or hire employees or applicants with disabilities on the grounds that their disabilities prevent them from performing the job.

Reasonable accommodations can include:

  • making workplace facilities readily accessible and usable by people with disabilities;
  • job restructuring, part-time or modified work schedules, or leaves of absence;
  • acquiring or modifying equipment or devices; and
  • job reassignments.

Undue hardship is determined based on factors such as the:

  • overall size of employers’ business in terms of workforce size, number and type of facilities, and budget size;
  • type of employers’ operations, including workforce composition and structure;
  • nature and cost of needed accommodations, taking into consideration the availability of tax credits or deductions and outside funding; and
  • extent to which accommodations would involve the waiver of job requirements are essential versus those that are tangential or unrelated to business necessity.

Employers also must conduct their employment procedures in such a way that all people, with or without disabilities, are given equal consideration based on their qualifications and abilities. This requirement applies to all aspects of employment, including hiring, promotions, tenure, training, assignments, transfers, and leave. To carry out the requirement, each person’s ability to perform a particular job must be assessed on an individual basis.

N.J. Admin. Code § 13:13-2.5

[Note: The New Jersey Supreme Court has held that an employer doesn’t need to provide an employee with medical treatment as a reasonable accommodation, as medical treatment is neither a modification to the work environment nor a removal of workplace barriers. Caraballo v. City of Jersey City Police Dep’t, 204 A.3d 254 (N.J. 2019).]

[Note: The New Jersey Supreme Court found that employees may establish a disability discrimination claim by showing that their employer failed to respond to their reasonable accommodation request, and do not need to additionally show that the failure-to-accommodate caused or was followed by an adverse employment action. Richter v. Oakland Bd. of Educ., No. A-23 September Term 2019, 2021 BL 212112 (N.J. June 08, 2021).]

New Mexico

Employers must provide reasonable accommodations to employees and applicants who are identified as having physical or mental handicaps or serious medical conditions, unless these accommodations would impose undue hardship on employers.

Reasonable accommodation means a modification or adaptation of the work environment, schedule, rules, or job responsibilities that does not impose an undue hardship on the employer and, effective May 20, 2020, is reached through good faith efforts to explore less restrictive or less expensive alternatives to enable an employee to perform essential job functions.

Undue hardship (effective May 20, 2020) means an accommodation requiring significant difficulty or expense when considering:

  • the nature and cost of the accommodation;
  • the employer’s financial resources involved in providing the accommodation;
  • the number of the employer’s employees;
  • the effect of the accommodation on expenses and resources;
  • the impact of the accommodation on the employer’s business;
  • the employer’s overall financial resources;
  • the overall size of the employer with respect to the number, type, and location of its facilities;
  • the type of operation of the employer, including the composition, structure, and functions of the employer’s workforce; or
  • the geographic separateness or administrative or fiscal relationship to employer of the employer’s facilities.

N.M. Stat. Ann. § 28-1-2 (2020 N.M. Laws 49 (H.B. 25)); N.M. Code R. § 9.1.1.7

New York

Fair employment practices law: Employers can’t refuse to provide reasonable accommodations for employees’ and applicants’ known disabilities in connection with the job they hold or seek or their participation in training programs, unless employers can show that these accommodations would impose undue hardship on their business operations. Employers can’t ask applicants whether they need accommodations.

To be eligible for reasonable accommodations, employees and applicants must:

  • have disabilities that actually interfere with their job performance, including when employees’ recovery or treatment needs interfere with their job performance if accommodations would allow them to recover or obtain treatment while maintaining employment;
  • have disabilities and accommodation needs that are known or made known to employers, including when employees and applicants inform employers of their disabilities and request accommodations;
  • have required job qualifications and be able to satisfactorily perform their job;
  • be qualified for their job through education, skill, experience, or ability to the same extent that these qualifications are required as BFOQs for nondisabled employees and applicants; and
  • be able to reasonably, satisfactorily perform the essential functions of their job, with or without accommodations.

Employers can determine satisfactory performance standards if they apply these standards evenly to all employees in the same position. Essential functions are fundamental job functions, as determined based on factors such as:

  • employers’ judgment, which can be demonstrated through pre-existing, written job descriptions;
  • how often these functions actually are performed by other employees in the same position;
  • how many other employees are available to perform these functions in the event of job restructuring;
  • how an employee’s or applicant’s inability to perform these functions directly and specifically impacts employers’ business; and
  • the terms of collective bargaining agreements.

Employers must consider accommodations upon receiving requests for them or otherwise discovering that they are needed. Employers can select which reasonable accommodations to provide, so long as these accommodations meet employees’ and applicants’ needs. Employees and applicants must cooperate with employers during this process; however, they can refuse accommodations if they can perform their job in a reasonable manner without accommodations.

Reasonable accommodations are actions that allow employees or applicants with disabilities to perform their job-related activities in a reasonable manner, but don’t impose undue hardship on employers’ business. These actions can include:

  • providing accessible worksites;
  • making existing facilities more accessible to people with disabilities;
  • acquiring or modifying equipment;
  • support services for people with impaired hearing or vision;
  • job restructuring;
  • modified work schedules;
  • adjustments to work schedules for treatment or recovery;
  • reassigning employees to other available positions;
  • adjusting examinations, training materials, or policies; and
  • providing readers or interpreters.

Job restructuring is required as a reasonable accommodation if employees or applicants with disabilities meet the BFOQs and can satisfactorily perform their essential job functions. Employers can’t require employees or applicants with disabilities to perform nonessential functions that they can’t perform because of their disabilities.

Reasonable accommodations don’t include:

  • providing for personal care needs, although personal care assistants should be accommodated when provided by employees at no cost to employers;
  • providing non work-related aids, such as personal hearing aids or wheelchairs, that are employees’ own responsibility;
  • creating completely unique positions that have qualifications or functions tailored to disabled employees’ and applicants’ abilities;
  • accommodating behaviors that don’t meet workplace behavior standards if employers consistently apply these standards to all similarly situated employees;
  • accommodating disabilities that pose a significant risk of substantial harm to employees’ or others’ health or safety if this risk can’t be eliminated or reduced through reasonable accommodations; or
  • making accommodations that pose a significant risk of substantial harm to employees’ or others’ health or safety.

To determine whether disabilities or accommodations pose a significant risk of substantial harm to health or safety, employers must make an individualized assessment based on reasonable judgment. Specifically, employers must rely on current medical knowledge or the best objective information available to determine the nature, duration and severity of this risk; the probability of injury occurring; and whether reasonable accommodations would mitigate the risk.

Undue hardship means significant difficulty or expense for employers. Determining whether accommodations would impose undue hardship is based on factors such as:

  • employers’ overall business size in terms of workforce size, number and type of facilities, and budget size;
  • the type of employers’ business operations, including workforce composition and structure;
  • the nature and cost of needed accommodations;
  • how well accommodations remove disability-related impediments to performance;
  • how convenient or reasonable accommodations are for employers, including how their convenience compares to other possible accommodations; and
  • hardships, costs, or problems that accommodations would cause employers and other employees.

Certification requirements: Employers must clearly request any documentation from employees and applicants that is necessary to consider a known or requested need for reasonable accommodations. When considering these accommodations, employers are entitled to medical or other information that is necessary to verify the existence of employees’ and applicants’ disabilities or to consider their need for the accommodations. Employees must cooperate in providing this information.

Temporary disabilities: Employers can be required to make certain reasonable accommodations for employees with temporary disabilities. Specifically, employers might need to modify work schedules and reassign employees to another position or light duty. Determining reasonable accommodations for temporary disabilities can depend on factors such as employers’ past practice, pre-existing leave or light duty policies, and specific workplace needs; the relevant workforce’s size and flexibility; and employees’ overall attendance record. Only de minimis accommodations can be required in the areas of worksite accessibility, equipment acquisition or modification, job restructuring, and support services for employees with temporary hearing or vision impairments.

Alcoholism and drug addiction: The reasonable accommodation requirements cover alcoholism and drug addiction if employees and applicants are recovered or recovering from such and can perform their job duties like anyone else with similar skills, experience, and other qualifications. Reasonable accommodations can include allowing employees to adjust their work schedule for ongoing treatment if they maintain regular attendance and continue to perform their essential job functions.

The reasonable accommodation requirements don’t cover current illegal drug use. If employers have knowledge of such use, employees and applicants aren’t entitled to accommodations and employees can be discharged. Current illegal drug use means illegal drug use that occurred recently enough for employers to reasonably believe that such use is current or that continuing use is a real and ongoing problem. Tests to determine illegal drug use aren’t considered medical tests; if they reveal any other information about medical conditions or history, employers can’t use it against employees and applicants.

North Carolina

Disability discrimination law: When applicants or employees request accommodation of a disability or medical condition that has been made known, employers must identify an effective reasonable accommodation, such as modification or adaptation of the work environment or job responsibilities that will enable applicants or employees to perform essential job functions. When interviewing applicants with disabilities, for example, employers might have to provide interpreters if applicants are hearing impaired or conduct interviews in rooms accessible to applicants using wheelchairs. When conducting employment tests, employers might have to offer tests in Braille to applicants or employees who are blind or allow their use of readers.

Employees with disabilities who seek reasonable accommodation must make their disability known, submit supporting medical documentation, suggest possible accommodations, and cooperate in determining feasible accommodations. Employers can refuse reasonable accommodation to employees who don’t fulfill these duties.

Employers aren’t required to:

  • make any accommodation that would create undue hardship because (for example) the accommodation is unduly expensive or requires extensive physical or structural modifications to the workplace, or would fundamentally change business operations;
  • hire one or more employees to enable the applicant or employee with a disability to be employed;
  • reassign job duties to other employees without reassigning duties to the employee with a disability;
  • deviate from seniority policies; or
  • provide accommodations of a personal nature, such as wheelchairs, hearing aids, or prosthetics, unless they provide these items for employees who don’t have disabilities.

Even if a particular accommodation would result in undue hardship, however, employers still must provide any alternative accommodation that is available and wouldn’t create undue hardship.

North Dakota

Employers can’t fail or refuse to make reasonable accommodations for employees and applicants with physical or mental disabilities who can perform their essential job functions. Reasonable accommodations are accommodations that don’t:

  • unduly disrupt or interfere with employers’ normal operations;
  • threaten the health or safety of employees and applicants with disabilities or other persons;
  • contradict employers’ business needs; or
  • impose undue hardship on employers based on their business size, business type, and financial resources, and the estimated cost and extent of these accommodations.

Ohio

Employers must make reasonable accommodations for applicants’ or employees’ known disabilities, unless they would impose undue hardship. Accommodations are reasonable adjustments made to a job and/or work environment that enables a qualified disabled person to safely and substantially perform their job duties. Examples of reasonable accommodations include making worksites usable by employees with disabilities, modifying equipment or tools so that they can be used by employees with disabilities, restructuring jobs, creating part-time or modified work schedules, or reassigning employees to vacant positions. When interviewing applicants with disabilities, employers might have to provide interpreters if applicants are hearing impaired or conduct interviews in rooms accessible to applicants using wheelchairs. When conducting employment examinations, employers might have to offer tests in Braille to applicants or employees who are blind or allow them the use of readers.

Employers aren’t required to make any accommodation that would create undue hardship because (for example) the accommodation is unduly expensive or requires extensive physical or structural modifications to the workplace or would fundamentally change business operations. If a particular accommodation would result in undue hardship, however, employers still must provide any alternative accommodation that is available and wouldn’t create undue hardship.

Oregon

Employers must make reasonable accommodations for the known physical or mental limitations of qualified employees and applicants with disabilities, unless employers can show that these accommodations would impose undue hardship on their business operations. Employers can’t deny employment opportunities to qualified employees and applicants with disabilities because of their need for such reasonable accommodations.

Reasonable accommodations can include:

  • making existing facilities readily accessible and usable for employees and applicants with disabilities;
  • job restructuring through part-time or modified work schedules or by reassigning employees to a vacant position;
  • acquiring or modifying equipment or devices;
  • modifying or adjusting examinations, training materials, policies, or job application processes;
  • providing qualified readers or interpreters;
  • providing leaves of absence;
  • modifying or adjusting the work environment or the manner or circumstances under which a job is normally performed; and
  • making modifications or adjustments that allow employees with disabilities to enjoy the same benefits and privileges as similarly situated employees without disabilities.

Employers aren’t required to provide reasonable accommodations for employees and applicants who don’t have, but are regarded as having, physical or mental impairments that substantially limit one or more major life activities.

Undue hardship means that accommodations require significant difficulty or expense, as determined by:

  • the nature and cost of accommodations;
  • affected facilities’ overall financial resources and workforce size;
  • the impact of accommodations on affected facilities’ expenses, resources, and operations;
  • employers’ overall financial resources and overall business size in terms of workforce size and the number, type, and location of their facilities; and
  • employers’ type of operations, including their workforce composition, structure, and functions, and the geographic separateness and administrative or fiscal relationship of affected facilities.

The reasonable accommodation requirements must be construed as consistent, to the extent possible, with similar provisions of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.

Interactive process: The reasonable accommodation requirements apply when qualified employees and applicants with disabilities request accommodations or otherwise disclose their possible accommodation needs to employers. When this request or disclosure is made, employers must initiate a meaningful, interactive process with employees and applicants to determine whether reasonable accommodations would allow them to perform their essential job functions. This informal process should identify potential accommodations that are reasonable and mutually agreeable. If these accommodations aren’t readily identifiable, the process should identify the nature of employees’ and applicants’ limitations that are relevant to potential accommodations.

Oklahoma

Employers must make reasonable accommodations to employees’ and applicants’ known disabilities. Examples of reasonable accommodations include making worksites usable by employees with disabilities, modifying equipment or tools so that they can be used by employees with disabilities, restructuring jobs, creating part-time or modified work schedules and reassigning employees to vacant positions. When interviewing applicants with disabilities, employers might have to provide interpreters if applicants are hearing impaired or conduct interviews in rooms accessible to applicants using wheelchairs. When conducting employment tests, employers might have to offer tests in Braille to employees and applicants who are blind or allow use of readers.

Employers aren’t required to make any accommodation that would create undue hardship, for example, the accommodation is unduly expensive or requires extensive physical or structural modifications to the workplace or would fundamentally change business operations. If a particular accommodation would result in undue hardship, however, employers still have to provide any alternative accommodation that is available and wouldn’t create undue hardship.

Oregon

Employers must make reasonable accommodations for the known physical or mental limitations of qualified employees and applicants with disabilities, unless employers can show that these accommodations would impose undue hardship on their business operations. Employers can’t deny employment opportunities to qualified employees and applicants with disabilities because of their need for such reasonable accommodations.

Reasonable accommodations can include:

  • making existing facilities readily accessible and usable for employees and applicants with disabilities;
  • job restructuring through part-time or modified work schedules or by reassigning employees to a vacant position;
  • acquiring or modifying equipment or devices;
  • modifying or adjusting examinations, training materials, policies, or job application processes;
  • providing qualified readers or interpreters;
  • providing leaves of absence;
  • modifying or adjusting the work environment or the manner or circumstances under which a job is normally performed; and
  • making modifications or adjustments that allow employees with disabilities to enjoy the same benefits and privileges as similarly situated employees without disabilities.

Employers aren’t required to provide reasonable accommodations for employees and applicants who don’t have, but are regarded as having, physical or mental impairments that substantially limit one or more major life activities.

Undue hardship means that accommodations require significant difficulty or expense, as determined by:

  • the nature and cost of accommodations;
  • affected facilities’ overall financial resources and workforce size;
  • the impact of accommodations on affected facilities’ expenses, resources, and operations;
  • employers’ overall financial resources and overall business size in terms of workforce size and the number, type, and location of their facilities; and
  • employers’ type of operations, including their workforce composition, structure, and functions, and the geographic separateness and administrative or fiscal relationship of affected facilities.

The reasonable accommodation requirements must be construed as consistent, to the extent possible, with similar provisions of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.

Interactive process: The reasonable accommodation requirements apply when qualified employees and applicants with disabilities request accommodations or otherwise disclose their possible accommodation needs to employers. When this request or disclosure is made, employers must initiate a meaningful, interactive process with employees and applicants to determine whether reasonable accommodations would allow them to perform their essential job functions. This informal process should identify potential accommodations that are reasonable and mutually agreeable. If these accommodations aren’t readily identifiable, the process should identify the nature of employees’ and applicants’ limitations that are relevant to potential accommodations.

Pennsylvania

Employers must make reasonable accommodations by modifying equipment and tools so they can be used by employees with a handicap or disability, unless these accommodations would impose undue hardship on employers. Employers also must allow these employees to provide their own equipment or tools in order to function properly in their job. In addition to the factors listed below, undue hardship in this context is determined based on factors such as how modifications would affect other employees’ use of equipment, warranties on equipment, and whether modifications can be made under applicable health and safety laws.

Employers must make reasonable accommodations through job modifications for employees with a handicap or disability, unless these accommodations would impose undue hardship on employers. Accommodations can include modifying duties or scheduling and the amount or nature of training or assistance provided. This requirement doesn’t mean that employers have to apply different production, attendance, or disciplinary standards to employees with a handicap or disability.

Employers can’t unlawfully deny employment opportunities to people with a handicap or disability if the basis of the denial is their need for reasonable accommodations, unless these accommodations would impose undue hardship on employers. Employers also can’t unlawfully limit, classify, or segregate people with a handicap or disability in ways that adversely affect their employment opportunities, although this prohibition doesn’t mean that employers have to make accommodations that would impose undue hardship on them.

Employers can’t refuse to hire applicants, discharge or refuse to promote employees, or subject employees to different terms or conditions of employment based on a current nonjob-related handicap or disability that could become job-related or based on a past job-related handicap or disability that may or may not recur, although this prohibition doesn’t mean that employers have to make accommodations that would impose undue hardship on them. In addition to the factors listed below, undue hardship in this context is determined based on factors such as the length, cost, and nature of required job training and the length of service that can reasonably be expected before the handicap or disability likely becomes job-related.

Undue hardship is determined based on factors such as:

  • the overall size and nature of employers’ business or organization, including the workforce size, structure, and composition and the number and type of facilities;
  • employers’ prior good-faith efforts to accommodate similar handicaps or disabilities;
  • the extent, nature, and cost of needed accommodations;
  • the extent to which people with a handicap or disability can reasonably be expected to want the job that is the subject of an accommodation request; and
  • legal or proprietary interest in the subject of proposed accommodations, including the authority to make the accommodations under the terms of a bona fide agreement governing or describing rights and duties regarding the subject.

In addition, employers can’t deny reasonable requests from applicants for assistance in completing the job application process.

Workplace access: Employers must comply with the following requirements, except to the extent that doing so would impose undue hardship on them:

  • A workplace must be designed and constructed without architectural and other barriers or omissions that interfere with the effective use of, entrance to, exit from, and mobility within buildings, work areas, offices, facilities, and similar areas by people with a handicap or disability if the workplace’s final design and construction plans were completed after Nov. 6, 1978. Facilities include all or any part of buildings, structures, equipment, roads, walkways, parking lots, fixtures, and other property.
  • If substantial alterations or alterations that could impact people with a handicap or disability are made to all or part of a workplace after that date, they must be planned and executed without those barriers or omissions in affected areas.
  • In existing facilities, employers must make reasonable accommodations for people with a handicap or disability by eliminating those barriers or omissions.

Employers are in compliance if a workplace’s design, construction, or alterations conform with relevant specifications issued by the American National Standards Institute or by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry Standards under the state’s Architectural Barriers Law (71 Pa. Stat. §§ 1455.1 to 1455.3a). Departures from these specifications are compliant if they provide equivalent access or an equivalent opportunity to use workplace areas in an integrated setting.

Rhode Island

Fair employment practices law: Employers can’t refuse to reasonably accommodate employees’ and applicants’ disabilities, unless employers can show that these accommodations would impose a hardship on their business. Hardship means undue hardship as defined in R.I. Gen. Laws § 42-87-1.1.

Disability discrimination law: Employees or applicants with disabilities aren’t required to accept accommodations that they choose not to accept.

South Carolina

Employers must make reasonable accommodations for the known physical or mental limitations of otherwise qualified employees and applicants with disabilities, unless employers can show that these accommodation would impose undue hardship on business operations. Employers can’t deny employment opportunities to otherwise qualified employees and applicants with disabilities based on their need for reasonable accommodations for their physical or mental impairments.

Reasonable accommodations can include:

  • making existing workplace facilities accessible and usable;
  • job restructuring;
  • part-time or modified work schedules;
  • reassignment to vacant positions;
  • acquiring or modifying equipment or devices;
  • adjusting or modifying examinations, training materials or policies; and
  • providing qualified readers or interpreters.

Undue hardship means that an action requires significant difficulty or expense when considering the:

  • nature and cost of a needed accommodation;
  • affected facility’s overall financial resources and workforce size;
  • accommodation’s impact on the affected facility’s expenses, resources, and operations;
  • employer’s overall financial resources;
  • employer’s overall business size in terms of workforce size and the number, type, and location of its facilities; and
  • employer’s type of operations, including its workforce composition, structure, or functions and its geographic separateness from and administrative or fiscal relationship with the affected facility.

South Dakota

Employers must make good-faith efforts to provide reasonable accommodations to employees and applicants with disabilities, unless doing so would create an undue hardship.

Tennessee

No data

Texas

Employers can’t fail or refuse to make reasonable accommodations for the known physical or mental limitations of otherwise qualified employees and applicants with disabilities, unless employers can show that these accommodations would impose undue hardship on their business operations. Such a showing of undue hardship is a defense against discrimination complaints made by otherwise qualified employees and applicants with disabilities. In reviewing these complaints, the Texas Workforce Commission or courts consider the reasonableness of costs for needed accommodations and the availability of alternatives or other appropriate remedies. Employers aren’t obligated to make reasonable accommodations for employees and applicants whose disabilities are solely based on being regarded as having impairments that substantially limit at least one major life activity.

Utah

Employers must make reasonable accommodations for the known physical or mental limitations of otherwise qualified employees and applicants with disabilities, unless they can show that these accommodations would impose undue hardship on their business operations. Employers can’t deny employment opportunities to qualified employees and applicants with disabilities based on their need for reasonable accommodations. Qualified means that employees and applicants with disabilities can perform their essential job functions with reasonable accommodations.

Reasonable accommodations can include making facilities readily accessible or usable, job restructuring, modified work schedules, and acquiring or modifying equipment or devices. Undue hardship depends on factors such as employers’ overall business size in terms of workforce size, number and type of facilities, and budget size; employers’ type of operations, including workforce composition and structure; and the nature and cost of needed accommodations.

Vermont

Employers must provide reasonable accommodations for employees and applicants with disabilities, unless these accommodations would impose undue hardship on employers. Reasonable accommodations are changes and modifications that can be made to a job’s structure or how a job is performed. They can include:

  • making facilities used by employees, including common areas such as hallways, restrooms, cafeterias, and lounges, readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities;
  • job restructuring and part-time or modified work schedules; and
  • acquiring or modifying equipment or devices.

Undue hardship is determined based on factors such as the cost of reasonable accommodations and employers’ overall workforce size, number and type of facilities, and budget.

Virginia

Disability discrimination: Employers must provide reasonable accommodations for the known physical and mental impairments of otherwise qualified employees with disabilities if these accommodations are needed to assist them in performing a particular job, unless employers can show that the accommodations would impose an undue burden.

The following factors are considered in determining whether accommodations would impose an undue burden:

  • the hardship on the employer’s business, taking into account the nature of its operations and its workforce composition and structure;
  • the affected facility’s size;
  • the nature and cost of the accommodations, taking into account alternate sources of funding or technical assistance available under Va. Code Ann. § 51.5-173;
  • the possibility that the same accommodations could be used by other employees; and
  • the safety and health considerations of employees with disabilities, other employees, and the public.

Until July 1, 2021, there is a rebuttable presumption that any accommodation costing more than $500 would impose an undue burden on an employer with fewer than 50 employees.

Employers have the right to choose among equally effective accommodations. Employers aren’t required to provide accommodations that are precluded under a lease’s terms or are prohibited by laws, ordinances, or regulations. Employers can make building modifications to provide reasonable accommodations without modifying the rest of an existing building to comply with Virginia’s Uniform Statewide Building Code requirements.

Va. Code Ann. § 51.5-41 (2021 Va. Laws 12 (HB 1848))

Fair employment practices law (effective July 1, 2021): It is an unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer to refuse to make reasonable accommodation to the known physical and mental impairments of an otherwise qualified person with a disability, if necessary to assist them in performing a particular job, unless the employer can demonstrate that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship. Consideration of whether an accommodation would constitute an undue hardship is based on:

  • hardship on the conduct of the employer’s business, considering the nature of its operations and its workforce composition and structure;
  • size of the facility where employment occurs;
  • the nature and cost of the accommodations needed, taking into account alternative sources of funding or technical assistance available under Va. Code Ann. § 51.5-173;
  • the possibility that the same accommodations may be used by other prospective employees; and
  • the safety and health considerations of employees with disabilities, other employees, and the public.

It is also an unlawful discriminatory practice for employers to:

  • take an adverse action against employees who request or use reasonable accommodations;
  • deny employment or promotion opportunities to otherwise qualified applicants or employees because the employer will be required to make reasonable accommodations for a disability;
  • require an employee to take leave if another reasonable accommodation can be provided to the known limitations related to the disability;
  • fail to engage in a timely, good faith interactive process with an employee who has requested an accommodation to determine if the requested accommodation is reasonable, and, if it is determined that the accommodation is not reasonable, discuss alternatives.

Washington

Employers can’t fail or refuse to make reasonable accommodations for employees or applicants with disabilities who can perform their job with or without reasonable accommodations, unless employers can prove that these accommodations would impose undue hardship. Employers also can’t fail or refuse to make reasonable accommodations for the use of trained dog guides or service animals by employees or applicants with disabilities who can perform their job with or without reasonable accommodations, unless employers can prove that these accommodations would impose undue hardship.

Reasonable accommodations are measures that enable equal opportunity in the application process, proper performance of a particular job, or the enjoyment of equal benefits, privileges, or terms and conditions of employment. They can include adjusting job duties, work schedules, or the scope of work; changing the job setting or conditions of work; and informing employees of vacant positions and considering them for those positions for which they are qualified. Undue hardship means that the cost or difficulty of accommodations is unreasonable when considering factors such as employers’ size and available resources, whether the cost can be included in planned remodeling or maintenance projects; and the requirements of other laws and contracts.

To qualify for reasonable accommodations, impairments must be known or shown through an interactive process to exist and:

  • they must have a substantially limiting effect on employees’ or applicants’ ability to perform their job, ability to apply or be considered for a job, or access to equal benefits, privileges, or terms and conditions of employment; or
  • employees must have notified employers about the existence of these impairments, and medical documentation must establish a reasonable likelihood that engaging in job functions without accommodations would aggravate the impairments to the point of having that substantially limiting effect.

Employers can seek a health-care professional’s opinion on whether a particular disability affects an employee’s or applicant’s job performance if this professional is licensed to diagnose and assess the disability. Employers also can seek the professional’s opinion on possible effective accommodations that would enable the employee or applicant to perform a job. An opinion on whether a person with a disability can perform a job must be based on the person’s individual capabilities instead of generalizations about the capabilities of all people with the same disability. It also must be based on knowledge of the actual sensory, mental, or physical qualifications needed to perform the job.

[Note: The Washington Supreme Court has held that reasonable accommodations don’t include providing an employee with a new supervisor. Snyder v. Med. Serv. Corp. of Eastern Washington, 35 P.3d 1158,, 1163 (Wash. 2001).]

Public health emergencies: Effective May 11, 2021, during a public health emergency, employers are prohibited from discharging, permanently replacing, or in any manner discriminating against an employee who is high risk as a result of the employee seeking an accommodation that protects them from the risk of exposure to the infectious or contagious disease or, if no accommodation is reasonable, using all available leave options, including leave without pay and unemployment insurance, until the end of the public health emergency or an accommodation is made available. An employee who is high risk means an employee who:

  • due to age or an underlying health condition, is at a high risk of severe illness from the disease that is the subject of the public health emergency, as defined by the centers for disease control and prevention; and
  • a medical provider has recommended the employee’s removal from the workplace because of their high risk of severe illness.

Public health emergency means a declaration or order concerning any infectious or contagious diseases, including a pandemic, and is issued when:

  • the President of the United States has declared a national or regional emergency that covers every county in Washington; or
  • the Governor of Washington has declared a state of emergency under Wash. Rev. Code § 43.06.010(12)in every county in the state.

West Virginia

[Note: Effective January 18, 2022, this summary is affected by 2021 W. Va. HB 335, as reported in the State L&E Developments Tracker.]

When an applicant or employee requests accommodation of a disability, employers must make adjustments or modifications on a case-by-case basis that enable the applicant or employee to be hired or remain in the position for which he or she was hired. Examples of reasonable accommodations include making existing facilities usable by employees with disabilities, restructuring jobs, creating part-time or modified work schedules, reassigning employees to vacant positions, conducting sensitivity training for co-workers, or modifying equipment or tools so that they can be used by employees with disabilities. When interviewing applicants with disabilities, employers might have to provide interpreters if applicants are hearing impaired or conduct interviews in rooms accessible to applicants using wheelchairs. When conducting employment tests, employers might have to offer tests in Braille to applicants or employees who are blind or allow their use of readers.

Employers must accommodate the disabilities of employees that arise during employment by continuing the employee in the same position or reassigning the employee to a new position for which he or she is qualified or may become qualified with training.

Employers aren’t required to make any accommodation that would create undue hardship because (for example) it would be unduly expensive, require extensive physical or structural modifications to the workplace, or fundamentally change business operations. If a particular accommodation would result in undue hardship, however, employers still have to provide any alternative accommodation that is available and wouldn’t create undue hardship.

Wisconsin

Employers can’t refuse to reasonably accommodate employees’ and applicants’ disabilities, unless employers can show that these accommodations would impose a hardship on their business.

Wyoming

Employers must provide reasonable accommodations for the known physical or mental impairments of qualified employees and applicants with disabilities, unless employers can show that these accommodations would impose undue hardship on their business operations.

Reasonable accommodations are modifications or adjustments to a job, the work environment, or usual practices that enable qualified employees and applicants with disabilities to have the same employment opportunities as other employees and applicants. These accommodations can include:

  • making workplace facilities accessible and usable;
  • job restructuring;
  • modified work schedules;
  • acquiring or modifying equipment or devices; and
  • providing qualified readers or interpreters.

Undue hardship means that an action is excessively costly, extensive, substantial, or disruptive or that it would fundamentally alter the nature or operation of employers’ business. The following factors are considered in determining undue hardship:

  • the nature and cost of accommodations in relation to the size of employers’ business;
  • employers’ financial resources; and
  • the impact of accommodations on the nature and structure of employers’ business operations.
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