What qualifies a personfor an ADA accomodation to work from home?

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What qualifies a personfor an ADA accomodation to work from home?

I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, and I have episodes of severe pain that can last for several days, and I also have frequent infections and illnesses due to a lowered immune system. I have used up all of my FMLA time for the year. I would like to try to make an ADA request to work from home; I am wondering if that qualifies as a qualifying disability? I would still be able to work during many of my illnesses if I were to work from home. My employer does have several work from home employees, and I have worked from home in my current position in the past. Any advice is appreciated.

Asked on September 1, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

An employer cannot discriminate against an employee with disabilities, though "not discriminating" means only making "reasonable accomodations," and a reasonable accomodation is one which is not too expensive or too disruptive. Therefore, what you need to try to show is that you can do the job from home--and not just occasionally or sporadically, but as often, extensively, and regularly as you propose to, and also that it will not increase company expenses signficantly (e.g. requiring new equipment for you to be able to work at home, such as new computer equipment, phone lines, or software) and not disrupt their operations in any appreciable way (to can get and send information and documents, meet with co-workers or supervisors by phone or video conference), etc. Basically, you need to establish that what you propose is reasonable.


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