Disability and Pregnancy Accommodations

The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, the New Jersey Pregnancy Discrimination and Accommodation Law, and the Federal Americans With Disabilities Act all impose several obligations on New Jersey employers, who are required to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities and pregnant employees. Unfortunately, many employees and employers do not understand some of the most critical aspects of employment law as it pertains to reasonable accommodations. For example, some employees do not know that a New Jersey employer is required to provide reasonable accommodation to a pregnant worker even if the worker is not disabled. Some workers assume that for them to get reasonable accommodation if they are pregnant, they also need to have a disability. Below is a look at other crucial things employees and employers need to know regarding reasonable accommodation for disabled and pregnant employees.

Who is Required to Request a Reasonable Accommodation?

Indeed, a disabled or pregnant employee is entitled to reasonable accommodation in the workplace. However, it is up to the employee to propose the reasonable accommodation. And when it comes to asking for reasonable accommodation, it is vital that an employee makes the request in a clear and specific manner. An employer can easily deny a vague request.

What is an Employer Required to Do After an Employee Requests for a Reasonable Accommodation?

According to the law, after an employee asks their employer for an accommodation, the employer is required to work together with the employee on a solution to come up with an accommodation. Generally, employees cannot make one-sided demands, and employers cannot decide by themselves to deny an employee a reasonable accommodation. Making one-sided demands or decisions would be a violation of the NJLAD and ADA.

Are There Limits on the Accommodation That Can be Provided?

Unfortunately, not all accommodations can be provided. As already noted, for an accommodation to have any chance of being provided, it has to be “reasonable.” A reasonable accommodation is one that, if provided, will allow the employee to perform their duties without causing undue hardship to the employer. According to the EEOC, undue hardship refers to financial difficulty and to accommodations that are unduly extensive, disruptive, or substantial. It refers to accommodation that would fundamentally alter the nature or operation of the business.

Does an Employer in New Jersey With Less Than 15 Employees Need to Provide Reasonable Accommodations to Employees?

Yes. According to the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to workers regardless of how many workers they have.

In conclusion, it is vital to note that an employer is required to consider whether a reasonable accommodation is possible before they refuse to hire, demote, or fire an individual on the basis that the individual’s disability or pregnancy would prevent them from doing their job. If an employer refuses to hire, demotes, or fires a person on the basis that the person’s disability or pregnancy would prevent them from doing their job without first considering if a reasonable accommodation is possible, the affected party may have legal options.

Contact The Trabosh Law Firm

If you have any questions concerning reasonable accommodations in the workplace or need legal help because your employer has discriminated against you because of your pregnancy or disability, contact The Trabosh Law Firm to speak to a qualified employment lawyer.