Given the wide array of mobile devices, it’s no longer a problem for employees to work anywhere or time they choose. But when does an employer have to let an employee work at home because of a qualifying disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act?

Shipman & Goodwin partner Gabriel Jiran on the Connecticut Employment Law Blog offers guidelines to employers facing such issues.

Jiran says it’s pretty clear that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission considers telecommuting a reasonable accommodation even if the company doesn’t have a policy. The key, he says, is figuring out whether it’s reasonable under the circumstances. If the person is a truck driver, for instance, it’s clear he or she can’t work from home.

But often situations are not that obvious. He says that the EEOC requires employers to consider a number of factors:

  • The ability to supervise the employee.
  • Whether any duties require the use of equipment or tools that cannot be replicated at home.
  • Does the employee’s job necessitate interaction and coordination of work with other employees?
  • Is in-person interaction with clients or customers necessary?
  • Will the employee need immediate access to documents or other information located only in the workplace?

Jiran reminds employers to make decisions on a case-by-case basis.