Thursday, March 21, 2013

5 Steps To Processing Workplace Accommodations

Most nonprofits will at some point have an employee that needs special accommodations. This is usually in the case of physically disabled employees, and nonprofits in every state are required to consider their requests even if they ultimately cannot be met.

As Barbara Mitchell and Cornelia Gamlem noted in "The Big Book of HR," employers do have some protection from "undue hardship" in providing workplace accommodations for employees. They caution, however, that organizations cannot deny a request without first giving it serious consideration. They suggest the following process for requests for accommodation:
  • Consider and document all requests. The responsibility applies to applicants and employees alike.
  • Each request should be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Evaluate all available options. This includes: Evaluate the job’s functions against the individual’s qualifications during the selection process; identify barriers to job performance; consult with the individual to find specific abilities and limitations relative to the job’s functions; determine if several accommodations are appropriate and determine the effectiveness, cost and impact on the job environment and, consider the individual’s preference;
  • Document the possible accommodations considered and resources consulted; and,
  • Document the interactive steps – discussions with the individual.

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