My employer denied my request for a reasonable accommodation because of “undue hardship.” What does undue hardship mean?

Employees with disabilities have the right to request reasonable accommodations that allow them to continue working. Employers are legally obligated to make appropriate accommodations unless there is undue hardship. Undue hardship means the business would suffer considerable difficulty or costs in providing accommodations.

Under California law, being burdened or inconvenienced is not enough to be considered undue hardship. Employers are required to meet a high bar when establishing that undue hardship exists, which includes the following factors:

  • How much the accommodations cost
  • How big the employer is in terms of financial resources and number of workers
  • The structure of the business and type of work
  • Impact of the accommodations on business operations

The employer is responsible for showing that a worker’s request for reasonable accommodations would result in undue hardship. Using undue hardship as an excuse to deny accommodations is unlawful and may be considered disability discrimination.

If your employer has refused to discuss accommodations with you or provide them even though there is no undue hardship, contact a knowledgeable Oakland employment lawyer. Erlich Law Firm can advise you of your legal rights.

Other Disability Discrimination FAQs:


My parents were heavily involved in community organizing. Seeing neighbors and friends’ parents struggle in the workplace gave me a sense of purpose that I wanted to help others. Many employees feel helpless and powerless in the workplace, and helping them vindicate their rights is the right thing to do.

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