10th Circ. Ruling Is Cogent Reminder Of Employer ADA Duties

October 03, 2019

It has long been understood that no magic words are necessary for an employee to communicate the need for reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Unfortunately, employers continue to make mistakes when employees request changes to the manner or method in which their jobs are performed, but do not specifically request an accommodation.

The most recent example of an employer that got it wrong is the employer in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit case of Mestas v. Town of Evansville,[1] discussed below.

As this case demonstrates, employers must understand and appreciate when an employee’s statements constitute requests for accommodation, even if not phrased quite that way. This article discusses how to recognize a request for accommodation, and even more importantly, how to handle these requests. Doing so will go a long way in ensuring ADA compliance and mitigating legal risk.

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