Comparison: State vs. Federal
The Virginia Human Rights Act prohibits employment practices that discriminate on the basis of disability (VA Code Sec. 2.2-3900et seq.). The Virginians with Disabilities Act (VDA) prohibits employment practices that discriminate against qualified individuals with a disability (VA Code Sec. 51.5-41). The law covers all employers, regardless of size (Yates v. Volunteer Health Care Sys., 783 F. Supp. 1002 (W.D. Va. 1992)).
Reasonable Accommodation for Disability
Effective July 1, 2021, the VHRA requires employers with five or more employees to provide a reasonable accommodation for the known physical and mental impairments of an otherwise qualified person with a disability if necessary to assist the person in performing a particular job unless the employer can demonstrate that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the employer (VA Stat. Sec. 2.2-3905).
The law also prohibits employers from:
• Taking adverse action against an employee who requests or uses a reasonable accommodation;
• Denying employment or promotion opportunities to an otherwise qualified applicant or employee because such employer will be required to make a reasonable accommodation for a person with a disability;
• Requiring an employee to take leave if another reasonable accommodation can be provided for the known limitations related to the disability; and
• Failing to engage in a timely, good-faith interactive process with an employee who has requested an accommodation to determine if the requested accommodation is reasonable and, if the accommodation is determined not to be reasonable, discuss alternative accommodations that may be provided.
Undue hardship. Under the VHRA, the following ...