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What is considered undue hardship in employment law?

Employees in Texas who have disabilities are entitled to ask for reasonable accommodations from their employer. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, an employer would be guilty of disability discrimination if they did not provide reasonable accommodations. However, employers do not have to accommodate disabled workers if the accommodation would cause undue hardship to the business.

What is undue hardship?

Determining whether an accommodation causes undue hardship to a business can be subjective. The main factor in this determination, however, is cost relative to the financial resources available. If providing an accommodation would be impossible for a company financially, this would be an undue hardship.

For example, a large chain store with great financial resources should be able to provide a wheelchair ramp and an accessible bathroom stall. For a small business that is barely paying its rent, building these things could cause undue hardship.

There are many reasonable accommodations that any business, regardless of its size and financial resources, should be able to provide. If a disabled cashier asks for a chair, for example, that accommodation should not be denied. Another example of a reasonable accommodation is an autistic employee who asks for work instructions in writing.

Factors that are not considered undue hardship

If a modified work schedule or other disability accommodation causes a negative reaction among other employees, this is not considered an undue hardship. Under employment law, any feelings or prejudices that other employees have about the accommodation cannot be considered undue hardship.

What happens if you are being denied reasonable accommodation?

If your employer denied you a reasonable accommodation, you may be able to file a discrimination complaint. In your complaint, you will have to show that the accommodation was reasonable and would not have caused your employer an undue hardship.