If They Ask for a Stool . . . Recognizing Reasonable Accommodation for Employees 'Regarded As' Disabled
54 Pages Posted: 2 Mar 2015
Date Written: Spring 2005
If They Ask for a Stool advocates a realistic approach to recognizing reasonable accommodation for employees who are "regarded as" disabled under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In 2008 Congress amended the ADA largely for the better, but If They Ask for a Stool demonstrates that Congress erred in removing the possibility of accommodation for those regarded as disabled.
While operational accommodations (such as the titular sitting stool) should not be given once misperceptions have been cleared, the ADA's antidiscrimination focus, the EEOC's interactive process, and the residual discrimination that can result from mislabeling an employee as disabled all argue for (a) penalizing employers who refuse to reasonably accommodate those they regard as disabled, as well as (b) requiring employers to provide reasonable non-operational accommodations such as additional training or modified policies designed to minimize the risk of further misperceptions.
If They Ask for a Stool thus, though written before the 2008 ADA amendments, continues to serve as a guide to why and how Congress should reconsider current law and once again require appropriate reasonable accommodations for employees regarded as disabled.
Keywords: employment law, employment discrimination, disability law, regarded as disabled, perceived disability, antidiscrimination, Americans with Disabilities Act, ADA, Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008, ADAAA, Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII, Rehabilitation Act, EEOC
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation