Working from Home Can Be a Reasonable Accommodation Under Texas Employment Law

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employers cannot discriminate against prospective or current employees based on their disability. The ADA provides that qualified individuals with disabilities should receive a reasonable accommodation to perform their job duties, unless it imposes an undue burden on the employer. These accommodations offer disabled individuals the ability to engage in equal employment opportunities.

Reasonable accommodations can be provided at all stages of employment and in various ways. For example, employers may be asked to change the application process or training process to accommodate a prospective or new employee. Moreover, an employer could adjust equipment or software to assist a disabled employee. Although employers are not required to create new positions, they may be required to reassign employees if a qualified position becomes available.

In some instances, an employee may request to work at home to accommodate their disability. Although not every job can be performed at home, teleworking can be a reasonable accommodation depending on the circumstances. The ADA does not mandate employers offer teleworking as a reasonable accommodation; however, if an employer does retain a teleworking policy, they must allow disabled employees that same opportunity. The result may be an employer modifying their current teleworking policy to accommodate a person with disabilities.

The ADA requires employers and employees engage in an interactive process to determine what accommodations might be needed and whether a job can be performed at home. Some tasks inherently cannot be performed at home. For example, restaurant workers, retail sales, and some teaching positions are not ones that lend themselves to teleworking. In these cases, employers are not required to provide teleworking accommodations. However, some employees may be able to work at home part-time or on a modified schedule. Employers are required to take an in-depth look at their job requirements and take the steps necessary to provide their employees with reasonable accommodations. In some situations, employers will try to evade their responsibilities and claim undue hardship. In these cases, individuals with disabilities should retain an attorney to discuss their rights and potential remedies.

Has Your Texas Employer Denied Your Request for a Reasonable Accommodation?

Texas employees should be afforded equal employment opportunities. We proudly help clients in the Dallas-Fort Worth area assert their rights by holding discriminatory employers accountable for their employment and staffing decisions. To learn more, contact the attorneys at Rob Wiley, P.C. by calling 214-528-6500 to schedule an initial consultation.

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