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The employer’s duty to reconsider under the ADAAA

In 2008 the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) was amended becoming effective on January 1, 2009. The amendments to the ADA still maintain that covered employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities unless doing so would cause an undue hardship.  The ADA regulations define a reasonable accommodation as “any change in the work environment or in the way things are customarily done” that enables an individual to fulfill their job functions.  Prior to the amendments to the law that went into effect in 2009, an employer who takes an adverse employment decision against an employee with a disability based on their inability to fulfill their job functions would be subject to a claim under the ADA. The employee would allege that the employer failed to provide reasonable accommodations which would enable the individual to fulfill their job functions. After which the claim would be evaluated based on several factors including whether the accommodation request as reasonable and how the employer responded to the request if it was reasonable.

The Duty to Reconsider Under the Americans with Disabilities Act

Under the amendments in 2009 if an employer fires an employee, but later learns of additional information regarding the employees need for reasonable accommodation or his or her disability courts evaluating ADA claims may allow the employer to “reconsider” the adverse action taken on the new information. In many cases, reconsideration is based on miscommunications between the employee and employer or any number of other factors. Under any circumstances, reconsideration allows an employer to potentially have a way to correct their previous decision and avoid potential liability under the ADA. Once reconsidered the employee would be required to reinstate the employee and implement a “reasonable accommodation.” However, if upon reconsider the employer refuses the claim would move forward.

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