When does an accommodation become unreasonable?

We have a data processing employee (we are a bank) that has had multiple eye surgeries and suffers from diminished sight (more than what a pair of glasses can correct). As a result she limits her driving to short distances and does not drive after dark. To assist her, we have provided her with an extra large monitor and allowed her to work in another building that is about 12 miles/minutes closer to her home. This position would normally be housed in our Operations department with the other processors and customer service area.

Because she is located in another building entirely, we are unable to utilize her skills where (physical location) we really need them. We are now faced with having to hire another employee to perform these tasks. Over the last 18 months or so, we have given her other duties to fill her day since some of the things she would normally do can't be done in her location. Also, since she have been "removed" from her regular department, she has been "on her own" and some things (defiiciencies) have come to light recently that probably would not have occurred if she was actually in her department where should could get regular instruction/follow up from her supervisor.

So, with all that being said...would it be considered "undue hardship" on the bank to continue this arrangement? And if so, can we require that she move back to the department 12 miles away?


  • 3 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • If you have to hire someone to do the essential functions of her job then you already have a hardship situation. The question then becomes is there another job she can do? Are you able to keep her busy doing what she is doing now? If so, doesn't that mean it is a bonafide position?

    If she is not managing the duties she has been assigned then that needs to be addressed, but you shouldn't have to hire someone to do her job. If, however, you really can make use of her where she is, then it isn't a hardship.
  • Just curious...would transporation be a reasonable accommodation? Even if only for the additional 12 miles?
  • We have been discussing changing her position all together so that she can remain in the facility she is currently located. But right now, it looks like that the "new" position really only warrants PT at this point.

    As to the transportation...she used to carpool with another EE, but he has since retired. But it would be worth brainstorming other options. Thanks for the thought.
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