Education Quarterly Reviews
Published: 27 August 2021
Teaching in the Aftermath of a Pandemic: Must an Employer Provide an Accommodation for Commuting for a Disabled Employee?
Richard J. Hunter, Jr., Hector R. Lozada, John H. Shannon
Seton Hall University
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Keywords: Americans with Disability Act, Accommodation, Undue Burden, Commuting, Essential Function, Online and Hybrid Teaching
Part I of the paper discusses the Americans with Disabilities Act or ADA, its requirements, and various protections for persons who suffer from a recognized disability which impacts their ability to work under certain circumstances and conditions. The context of this study is American higher education. Part II will discuss the obligation of an employer to offer a “reasonable accommodation” of the nature sought by an employee which would permit the employee to continue teaching while otherwise meeting all of the obligations imposed on faculty members under appropriate university policies. Specifically, the research question considered in Part II relates to whether “commuting” is a covered activity under the ADA which would trigger the responsibility of providing the employee with a reasonable accommodation, allowing an employee to teach in the employee’s preferred combination of online and hybrid modalities.
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