We usually hear about reasonable accommodations for employees with a disability or who are pregnant. However, these arrangements extend to applicants as well and the laws require employers to provide them even if there is yet to be an employer-employee relationship. Correspondingly, employers cannot refuse to consider an applicant due to the need or request for reasonable accommodations.
Examples of reasonable hiring accommodations
Applicants with a disability can request the following reasonable accommodations during their job interviews and similar portions of the hiring process:
- Creating physically accessible workplace, such as installing ramps and wide entranceways for applicants in wheelchairs
- Providing braille or audiotape materials for blind applicants
- Obtaining a sign language interpreter’s assistance for mute applicants
- Modifying testing requirements
- Adjusting hiring policies and procedures accordingly
These are a few adjustments an employer can provide during their hiring process.
Limitations of these accommodations
While the law requires employers to provide accommodation to applicants with a disability, there are limitations. The provision for reasonable accommodation should not be overly difficult or expensive for the employer. Whether an arrangement qualifies as difficult or costly depends on the costs of the accommodation, the employer’s financial resources and the provision’s impact on the company.
Hence, if there are several ways for an employer to provide accommodation, they have the right to choose the easiest and cheapest one as long as it is effective.
Ensuring protection as an applicant with a disability
Knowing your rights as an applicant and an employee is crucial for fighting for your case. If a prospective employer refuses to provide reasonable accommodations to you as an applicant with a disability or clearly refuses to consider you for the role because of your needs, you can explore available legal remedies with the help of a competent employment law attorney and establish a solid case.