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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    22

    Default ADA Accommodation in Missouri

    Have an employee with rheumatoid arthritis who claims she needs to sit on a stool for certain periods of time. This is ok with us to an extent. However we want to know how long she needs to sit on it so we asked her doctor to tell us that in his note. He did not. If he will not specify, can we argue that this is an unreasonable accommodation. Also, if he specifies but it is for a period of time that will cause us hardship, do we have to comply? Is there a standard for when this becomes an unreasonable hardship?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,179

    Default Re: ADA Issue Missouri

    First, please explain how having her sit on a stool will create a hardship.

    I'm not saying you're wrong and it can't; I don't know what her job is. But on the bare basics of what you've said, the obvious answer is going to be, Give the lady a damn chair and stop being such a stick in the mud. There are few jobs I can think of where having someone sit would create any kind of hardship no matter how long it is for.

    So to get an accurate answer to your question, you're going to have to provide more detail as to why allowing her to sit could conceivably create an issue.

    I realize this sounds harsh. I do not mean it to be. But the EEOC will be a lot more harsh than this. So if you can give us additional info, we can go further.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: ADA Accommodation in Missouri

    cbg, I agree with you 100%, this was just my assignment. She is a cashier. Her job duties also include sweeping, mopping, cleaning the bathrooms, etc. From what I can tell, rheumoatoid arthritis is a disability under the ADA and one which has unpredictable characteristics. I guess what it comes down to is that as long as she can still perform the essential functions of her job like sweeping and mopping, she can sit on the chair as long as she wants.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,179

    Default Re: ADA Accommodation in Missouri

    Sounds like a plan to me. But be absolutely certain that the non-sitting duties really do qualify as essential functions before taking any further action if it proves to be an issue in the future.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Key West, FL
    Posts
    2,350

    Default Re: ADA Accommodation in Missouri

    ADA is a federal law. You could research district court and appeals cases to learn more details about the law and its reach.

    Statutes alone don't provide a great deal of guidance on the details.

    Providing a stool is not a major accommodation. However, if the job duties include cleaning and other things, then the employee does need to be able to do those things. You don't have to employ someone who simply can't do the job.

    However, it can be a mine field, so you want to follow the law and also have a good paper trail.

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