Arthritis Accomodations in the Workplace
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects those with disabilities, defined as a "physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment." You may not realize it, but if your arthritis is restricting your performance at work, it may be considered an ADA disability.
The classification is based on the nature, severity, duration, and long-term impact of the condition. If your arthritis can't be fully controlled by medication, and causes severe pain or functional limitation, the ADA applies.
An employer is required to provide reasonable accommodations to someone with a disability in the job application process, job functions, and benefits and privileges of employment. This means that employers are required to make modifications to a job or work environment so that someone with a disability can succeed at the workplace.
Accommodations for the disabled are typically not costly for the employer. The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) studied the cost of disability accommodations and found that one third of the accommodations cost nothing to the employer, and eighty percent of the accommodations cost less than $500. An employer should consult the individual with a disability in order to decide what modifications to make.