I contribute an Employment Law advice column to The Human Resources Association of Broward County newsletter. A reader recently asked a question that I thought was important and I wanted to share.
If an organization does not allow telework for any of their employees, but an employee is requesting an accommodation under the ADA to telework due to their medical condition. Can the organization deny that request because they do not allow anyone else to do it?
Dear Confused in Cocoa:
This is a great question! Under the ADA, you are required to provide reasonable accommodations needed so that the employee can perform his/her essential functions. A request to work from home due to a disability triggers an obligation for your organization to engage in an interactive discussion with the employee to understand exactly what the employee is requesting and why the employee believes that granting this request will allow the employee to perform the essential functions of his/her position.