(Courtesy of Pacific ADA Center)
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission:
Many employers have discovered the benefits of allowing employees to work at home through telework (also known as telecommuting) programs. Telework has allowed employers to attract and retain valuable workers by boosting employee morale and productivity. Technological advancements have also helped increase telework options. President George W. Bush’s New Freedom Initiative emphasizes the important role telework can have for expanding employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.
In its 1999 Enforcement Guidance on Reasonable Accommodation and Undue Hardship Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (revised 10/17/02), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said that allowing an individual with a disability to work at home may be a form of reasonable accommodation. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers with 15 or more employees to provide reasonable accommodation for qualified applicants and employees with disabilities. Reasonable accommodation is any change in the work environment or in the way things are customarily done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform a job, or gain equal access to the benefits and privileges of a job. The ADA does not require an employer to provide a specific accommodation if it causes undue hardship, i.e., significant difficulty or expense.