Employer’s Accommodation Is Enough

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A Dairy Queen appropriately accommodated an employee’s legal blindness, even though it imposed the accommodation unilaterally. In Bunn v. Khoury Enterprises, Inc., No. 13-2292 (7th Cir. May 28, 2014), the employer determined that a legally blind employee could not perform the essential functions in all of the restaurant’s “duty stations.” Rather than place the employee into the typical duty-station rotation, the store manager worked with the employee to determine which functions he could perform, and then scheduled the employee exclusively to one department where he could perform the necessary duties with minimal additional accommodation. The employee sued alleging that he asked for additional, or different, accommodations, which the employer denied, but the court ruled the chosen accommodation was enough. The ADA’s interactive process “is not an end in itself,” and the concern lies “with the ends, not the means.” According to the court, the “job restructuring,” or the change in the way things were “customarily done,” “was exactly the kind of accommodation envisioned by the regulations applicable to the ADA” even without the interactive process.

 


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