Employee May Not Dictate ADA Accommodation to Be Provided
An employee cannot insist on a specific accommodation, particularly when other reasonable accommodations have been offered as part of the interactive discussion required under the American with Disabilities Act. In so finding, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit offered guidance to employers on what constitutes an employer’s good faith participation in the accommodations process.
As the court stated in Sessoms v. The Trustees of the Univ. of Penn., “An employer may demonstrate good faith in various ways, including meeting with the employee, requesting information about the employee’s condition and limitations, asking what the employee wants, showing signs of having considered the employee’s request, and offering and discussing available alternatives when the request is too burdensome.” In the present case, the employer engaged in these actions. The plaintiff, however, was unwilling to consider any accommodation that did not involve a change in supervisor. However, as the court noted, “Reasonable accommodation does not entitle an employee to a supervisor ideally suited to her needs.” Moreover, to the extent that the employee wants a transfer as an accommodation, it is necessary for the employee to show that there are appropriate and available positions, which the plaintiff did not do.