Employment Law Commentary -- Volume 25, No. 2 -- February 2013: Is Working from Home a Reasonable Accommodation? “Rarely.”

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Modern technology is challenging our conception of the traditional workplace, especially in the service and information sectors. Remote network connections, online videoconferencing, portable Web-enabled devices, and other advances have made it possible for workers to complete many of their job duties from just about anywhere. Do these technological capabilities mean that working from home is a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)? How should an employer respond if an employee requests to telecommute as an accommodation for her disability?

General Background -

The stakes are high when an employer must consider whether an employee’s requested accommodation is reasonable under the ADA. When it cannot provide the requested accommodation, all too often the employer must endure the distraction and expense of defending its decision in a charge of discrimination, frequently followed by a lawsuit.

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