Telecommuting–A Reasonable Accommodation Under the ADA

In EEOC v. Ford Motor Co. (6th Cir. April 22, 2014) the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held that a four day per week telecommuting agreement could be a reasonable accommodation for a physically disabled employee under the Americans with Disabilities Act.  While the employer disagreed, having determined in its business judgment that telecommuting was an insufficient substitute for physical attendance at work, the federal court of appeal concluded that due to advances in modern technology, it is no longer the typical case that an employee working remotely cannot fulfill all of the requirements of his or her job.  According to the Court, physical presence at work may be considered an essential job function where the employee for example, is required to engage in face-to-face interactions with customers or other objects at the workplace.

To read the full court opinion and the EEOC’s 2005 guidelines of telecommuting under the ADA, click here:  EEOC v. Ford Motor Co.