The complex question of “What constitutes reasonable accommodation?” rears its ugly head again. In the absence of clear guidelines, employers are increasingly having to play guessing games as to whether their efforts to accommodate protected classes, such as religious minorities are reasonable. Often entangled with this issue is the question of whether the impact of certain potential accommodations are “unduly burdensome” to the employer.
These are issues which are very complex and very murky. In order to successful navigate the difficult shoals of establishing policies, procedures, and practices to deal with issues of accommodation of protected classes (with respect to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act) and covered individuals under the Americans with Disabilities Act, businesses need to make use of expert input and need to continual update these policies, procedures, and practices to adjust for both minor and major changes in the controlling law. While this process is cumbersome, the liabilities associated with failing to do so are significant.