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September 1, 2010

Assisting with Commuting as a Reasonable Accommodation

Filed under: HRN News1:49 pm

You may remember a recent case in the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in which an employer was found to have violated the ADA because it did not provide a reasonable accommodation by allowing a visually impaired employee, who could not drive at night, to work days.   Now, a similar case has come out of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.  In that case, Livingston v. Fred Meyer Stores, Inc,. the court allowed the case to go forward, finding that a company could be obligated to provide “commuter-related” accommodations.  Additionally there was no evidence that the company engaged in “interactive dialogue” with the employee to determine to her needs and assess her requests.  Rather , it simply fired her when she refused to work her scheduled shift.

Clearly, there is a trend here as the courts are looking at an employee’s ability to get to and from work.  A schedule change, as long as no undue hardship is created, may be a reasonable accommodation.


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