Reasonable Accommodation

A listener wanted to know when an employer has to let a person with a disability work from home.  I’m Amy E. Feldman.

Listener Dave C.’s wife, who was diagnosed with blood cancer, received a stem cell transplant that eliminated her immune system and she won’t be fully vaccinated until June.  Her oncologist said she needs to work from home, but so far her employer hasn’t granted the request.  Dave wrote in to ask if the law requires they let her work from home.  Morally, yeah!  For goodness sake, people, help a cancer patient!  Legally, it’s a bit more complicated.

Under the law, an employer has to reasonably accommodate a person with a disability, but what constitutes a reasonable accommodation depends on the circumstances.  If someone’s job is just sitting in front of a computer, it’s hard to argue it’s an undue hardship on an employer to let her do it from home.  But other jobs, like that of a school crossing guard, can’t be done from home, so would not be legally required.  In any event, we will be praying for your wife’s full recovery.

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