New Court Decision Explains Telecommuting May Be a Reasonable Accommodation Under the Americans with Disabilities Act

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Ford Motor Company should have considered allowing an employee to telecommute when her disability prevented her from regularly coming to work. Previously, most courts had found that attendance at the workplace was an essential job function for most positions and an employee who could not come to work was not qualified to perform the job. However, in EEOC v. Ford Motor Company the court ruled that advances in technology may mean an employee’s physical presence at work is no longer an “essential” job function.

This case highlights how technological innovation may affect an employer’s evaluation of what constitutes a reasonable accommodation under the ADA.