1-800-949-4232

Text Size

Current Size: 100%

Page Style

Current Style: Standard

Learning Center

Reasonable Accommodation and Job Applicants


May an employer ask whether a reasonable accommodation is needed when an applicant has not asked for one?

An employer may tell applicants what the hiring process involves (e.g., an interview, timed written test, or job demonstration), and may ask applicants whether they will need a reasonable accommodation for this process.

During the hiring process and before a conditional offer is made, an employer generally may not ask an applicant whether s/he needs a reasonable accommodation for the job, except when the employer knows that an applicant has a disability -- either because it is obvious or the applicant has voluntarily disclosed the information -- and could reasonably believe that the applicant will need a reasonable accommodation to perform specific job functions. If the applicant replies that s/he needs a reasonable accommodation, the employer may inquire as to what type. 

After a conditional offer of employment is made, an employer may inquire whether applicants will need reasonable accommodations related to anything connected with the job (i.e., job performance or access to benefits/privileges of the job) as long as all entering employees in the same job category are asked this question.

Alternatively, an employer may ask a specific applicant if s/he needs a reasonable accommodation if the employer knows that this applicant has a disability -- either because it is obvious or the applicant has voluntarily disclosed the information -- and could reasonably believe that the applicant will need a reasonable accommodation.

If the applicant replies that s/he needs a reasonable accommodation, the employer may inquire as to what type.