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Employment Principal Sid Steinberg Examines How Technology Leads to Telecommuting as Reasonable Accommodation for The Legal Intelligencer

In his May 14, 2014 column for The Legal Intelligencer, Employment & Employee Relations Principal Sidney R. Steinberg examines why a recent decision may be viewed, particularly by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, as recognition that telecommuting could be reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). 

The case, EEOC v. Ford Motor, involved a worker who requested to work from home on an as-needed basis as an accommodation for a condition. Her company refused, citing that it did not believe the worker could perform her duties successfully away from the office. 

In discussing the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit's decision in favor of the worker in the case, Mr. Steinberg notes that:

"The case is sure to be considered whenever an employee seeks the accommodation of working from home. Employers and courts will have to consider more carefully the impact of technology and whether phone and email is a viable substitute for face-to-face workplace interaction."