Under Missouri law*, an employer is required to make a reasonable accommodation to the known disability of an applicant or employee if it would not impose an undue hardship on the operation of the employer's business. Undue hardship is one that imposes significant difficulty or expense when considered in light of factors such as the employer's size, financial resources, and the nature and structure of its operation.
An employer is not required to lower quality or production standards to make an accommodation. An employer also is not obligated to provide personal-use items such as glasses or hearing aids.
Under the Act, an employee or applicant with a disability is an individual who: 1) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity; 2) is regarded as having such an impairment; or 3) has a record of having such an impairment and with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the job in question, utilize the place of public accommodations.
*The Missouri Human Rights Act applies only to those employers with 6 or more employees.
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), or the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, an employer cannot treat an employee or job applicant unfavorably because of their disability.** The ADA requires an employer to provide reasonable accommodation to an employee or job applicant with a disability; however, if doing so would cause significant difficulty or expense for the employer, otherwise known as “undue hardship", then the employer is excused from the accommodation requirement.
Federal law also forbids harassment of those who are disabled because of their disability. This can include offensive comments about a person's disability but isolated acts of teasing or offhand comments do not amount to harassment unless they become so pervasive as to create a hostile or offensive work environment or when it causes an unfavorable employment result such as termination or demotion.
**Titles I and V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, and Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, apply only to employers with 15 or more employees who worked for the company for each working day in each of twenty or more calendar weeks (in this year or last).
Reasonable Accommodations may include, but are not limited to:
Making existing facilities used by employees readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities;
Job restructuring, modifying work schedules, reassignment to a vacant position;
Acquiring or modifying equipment or devices, adjusting or modifying examinations, training materials, or policies, and providing qualified readers or interpreters.