If you’ve sustained a brain injury, you may be entitled to certain accommodations from your employer under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). If that employer fails to make traumatic brain injury job accommodations, there’s a chance you could take legal action.
Speak with a Florida traumatic brain injury attorney with Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath if you believe your employer is treating you unfairly. Schedule a free case review by contacting us online or calling (561) 655-1990.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law prohibiting discrimination against people who have pronounced physical challenges. Under the ADA, employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities so they can perform the essential functions of their job.
This means that if you have sustained a brain injury and can’t perform certain job duties, your employer may be required to make accommodations to help you perform those duties.
What are workplace accommodations?
Accommodations are changes to the workplace or in the way that an injured employee performs their work. These changes can make it possible for injured workers to continue performing their job’s most important functions.
The type of changes appropriate for an individual with a brain injury will depend on their physical and mental limitations.
Examples of physical limitations
People with brain injuries may have difficulty standing or sitting for long periods, lifting or carrying heavy objects, or using certain tools or equipment.
Some accommodations that may be appropriate for those with physical limitations include:
- Providing a sit/stand desk or ergonomic chair to help with back pain or discomfort.
- Adjusting the height of a work surface or equipment to make it easier to access.
- Providing a cart or other equipment to assist with moving heavy objects.
- Allowing for more frequent breaks to rest or stretch.
Examples of mental limitations
An employee with a brain injury might also experience mental limitations that impact their memory, concentration, or communication. Appropriate accommodations could include the following:
- Providing written instructions or checklists to help with memory.
- Allowing for additional time to complete tasks.
- Providing a quiet workspace or noise-canceling headphones to help with concentration.
- Providing training or coaching to help with communication skills.
Do employers always have to accommodate injured employees?
Employers might not have to provide accommodations in situations that would pose an undue hardship on their business. An undue hardship is defined as an accommodation that would be too difficult or expensive for the employer to provide.
However, the burden of proof is on the employer to show that an accommodation would pose an undue hardship. The employee only has to show that the accommodation is “reasonable on its face” – that is, if the accommodation is feasible or plausible.
One common accommodation that employers may provide for individuals with brain injuries is a flexible work schedule. This can include allowing an employee to work from home, adjusting their start and end times, or reducing their work schedule.
A flexible work schedule can be beneficial for individuals with brain injuries who need to attend medical appointments. It can also ease the burden on employees who experience fatigue and other symptoms that make it difficult to work a standard schedule.
We’re here for you
Is your employer refusing to make mandatory traumatic brain injury job accommodations? A Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath attorney can tell you more and work to protect your rights.
Call (561) 655-1990 or use our online contact form for a free case evaluation.