Reasonable Burdens: Resolving the Conflict between Disabled Employees and Their Co-Workers


This Article addresses one of the most difficult issues under the reasonable accommodation provision of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): how to resolve the conflict that arises when accommodating a disabled employee negatively affects or interferes with the rights of other employees. Several scholars and the Supreme Court (in US Airways v. Barnett) have weighed in on this debate but their analyses fall short of the ultimate goal of this Article—to achieve equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities without unnecessarily interfering with the rights of other employees. In order to achieve that goal, this Article proposes a statutory amendment to the reasonable accommodation provision of the ADA. This amendment would make reasonable most accommodations that affect other employees, unless the accommodation results in the termination of another employee. In this way, more productive disabled employees will remain employed, while only placing a reasonable burden on the rest of the workforce.


Civil Rights and Discrimination | Labor and Employment Law

Date of this Version

August 2006