Don’t Make Your Employment Application Too Accommodating

Craig Carter

I have recently seen some employment applications that include a request for the applicant to provide information in some form regarding the need for reasonable accommodations to perform the functions of the job being applied for.  Although employers are always allowed to ask applicants about their ability to perform the job, according to the EEOC, employers are not allowed to ask all applicants whether they will need reasonable accommodation to perform the functions of the job, and doing so violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.  If the job application used by your business requests such information, you should remove that language from the application form.  Employers are allowed, however, to ask applicants whether they need accommodations for the hiring process.  Additionally, if an employer knows that an applicant has a disability, either because the disability is obvious or because the applicant volunteered the information to the employer, the employer can then ask that particular applicant about the need for accommodation.  Further, once a conditional offer of employment is made to an applicant, an employer may ask that applicant about the need for accommodation, as well as other disability and medical related questions.