What type of accommodation must be made by an employer for a disabled employee?

UPDATED: Jun 10, 2011

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What type of accommodation must be made by an employer for a disabled employee?

If I suffered a brain injury that has kept me from driving, is my employer obligated to make reasonable accommodation by transferring me back to a location that I can get to without driving?The company I work for transferred me from a 1 minute walk to a 45 minute drive. I suffered a brain injury that has kept me from being able to drive my car safely. I also suffer from panic attacks while using public transportation so that is not an option.

Asked on June 10, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

There is no simple or one-size-fits all answer, because the issue will be whether transferring you to the closer location is a reasonable accomodation for the company (or whether there is another possible accomodation). For example, given what is at that closer location and also what your job/duties are, *can* you work there? If, to use an obvious example, you are a manufacturing floor supervisor, but only the further location is a manufacturing location--the closer one is, say, a small sales office--then they can't reasonably transfer you to the nearer location; there's no work for you there, and they don't need to pay you when you can't do the work for which you are qualified.

Or alternately, are their other reasonable accomodations which might be made? Given the nature of your work, could you work from home 2 - 3 days  per week and only have to find a way into the office (cab? mass transit?) the rest of the time? Or could you work different hours that work better with mass transit? Etc.

You should speak with an employment attorney, who can evaluate the specifics of your situation with you and advise you as to what to do. Good luck.

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