Although employers may want to hire employees with disabilities, they often are confused and uncertain about the rights and expectations for, first, defining “disability” and, second, just what it means to ensure the workplace can accommodate the employee appropriately.
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination and the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) both require an employer to work with an employee with a disability in an effort to find a “reasonable accommodation” that enables the employee to continue to perform in his or her position. The duty to “Reasonably accommodate” is triggered when an employee requests assistance in performing their work duties as a result of their disability. There are no specific requirements – or magic words – for how the employee makes this request. The employee simply must make it clear that he or she desires assistance in performing the work as a result of his or her disability. This request does not need to be in writing