Is ‘Telework’ a Reasonable Accommodation under the ADA?

Katz, Marshall & Banks partner Alexis Ronickher and associate Mehreen Rasheed co-authored an Expert Analysis article for Law360 titled, “No Bright-Line Rule for ‘Telework’ as ADA Accommodation.” Technological progress has taken more and more people from an office building to a home office. But whether teleworking is protected as a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act is a fact-specific inquiry where there is no-bright line rule.

While every case is different, courts will uphold telework as a reasonable accommodation provided it allows an employee to perform the essential functions of his or her job.  Certain job responsibilities, however, can prevent telework from being a reasonable accommodation, such as working with machines in a manufacturing plant, handling confidential documents that cannot be taken home, using computers that cannot be set up at home, etc.

In determining whether a telework request is reasonable, courts look at certain other variables, such as whether the teleworking will be temporary or part-time and whether the work from home hinders adequate supervision. 

Since the current legal landscape is still evolving regarding telework as an accommodation, employees seeking such an accommodation should carefully tailor his or her request to make it as reasonable as possible.

Read the full article here.