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Undue burden

An undue burden is a requirement of Title II or Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that would cause a significant difficulty or expense if carried out. This means that a state or local government or its agencies, or a business or nonprofit organization covered by the ADA, does not have to provide an auxiliary aid or service, or a modification, if providing it would cause a significant administrative or financial difficulty. Undue burden is similar to undue hardship under Title I (employment).

When deciding whether something is an undue burden, you have to look at several factors. These factors include the overall cost involved in light of the entire organization and any parent organization, and the operation and nature of the organization. If an auxiliary aid or service is an undue burden, the organization must look for an effective alternative. For example, if a small, private museum cannot afford to provide a sign language interpreter for a museum tour on short notice, a written copy of the tour guide’s script might be an alternative.


Ask About the ADA

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What is undue hardship?

What is undue hardship?
An employer does not have to provide a reasonable accommodation that is an undue hardship.
Undue hardship means significant difficulty or expense. It refers to: the cost compared to the overall size and resources of the organization; accommodations that are unduly extensive, substantial, or disruptive to operations; accommodations that would fundamentally alter the nature or operation of the business. Share on Facebook

Blog Posts

  • Leave as a Reasonable Accommodation—The EEOC Weighs In
    February 25, 2016
    Shared from the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission website. Enforcement Guidance: Reasonable Accommodation and Undue Hardship Under the Americans with Disabilities Act Leave Permitting the...
  • The ADA and Collective Bargaining Issues
    January 08, 2016
    This brochure was written by Laurie M. Johnston, Esq., Harris, Beach & Wilcox, Ithaca, New York. What is the Americans with Disabilities Act? The Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), passed...
  • Employers and the ADA: Myths and Facts
    February 18, 2016
    This material was published by the US Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a landmark federal law that protects the rights of peopl...
  • Can I ask for reassignment as a reasonable accommodation?
    January 29, 2016
    Taken from the EEOC Enforcement Guidance:Reasonable Accommodation and Undue Hardship Under the American's with Disabilities Act The ADA specifically lists "reassignment to a vacant position" as a form...
  • Explainer: Accessible Absentee Voting in NYS
    May 10, 2022
    Joe Zesski of the Northeast ADA Center explains the role technology can play in accommodating voters with disabilities. It's the law in New York state that voters must be permitted to vote privately...