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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission



Tips for Small Businesses

Reasonable Accommodation Policy Tips

  • Specify that your business provides reasonable accommodations (changes to the way things are normally done at work) to applicants and employees who need them for medical or religious reasons, as required by law.*
  • Identify and provide contact information for the individual(s) responsible for handling reasonable accommodation requests.
  • Require managers to respond promptly and effectively to reasonable accommodation requests.
    • Consider requiring that applicants and employees be updated on the status of their accommodation requests, especially if identification and/or provision of the accommodation takes longer than expected.
    • Consider proposing temporary accommodation(s) if the agreed-upon accommodation cannot be provided immediately.
  • Explain that in certain circumstances, you may need to request additional medical or religious information or documentation to establish whether the individual's medical condition or religious beliefs are protected by law, or to determine whether and what type(s) of accommodations would be effective. Encourage applicants and employees to respond to these requests promptly.
  • Require managers to keep any medical information received as part of an accommodation request or during the accommodation process confidential and in a separate medical file.
  • Consider requiring that decisions to either deny accommodation requests or to provide accommodations other than the requested accommodation(s) be explained to the applicant or employee. This may help prevent misunderstandings and complaints.
  • Explain how employees can report discrimination related to reasonable accommodations (such as improper denial of a reasonable accommodation request).
  • Describe the consequences of violating the reasonable accommodation policy.

* Federal, state and local laws may require you to provide reasonable accommodations for other reasons. Federal, state and local government websites may have additional information about these laws.

See also:

Manager Responsibilities - Reasonable Accommodation

Disability Accommodations Tips

Religious Accommodations Tips

What should I do if an applicant or employee asks for breaks, leave or other changes to a work situation because of his medical condition or his religious beliefs?