What do you really know about the ADA Interactive Process under the Americans with Disabilities Act? This is one area in which I am always getting questions, and I think it’s the terminology that scares employers. “Interactive process” sounds so intimidating.
Instead of ”interactive process,” it should be called “sit-down.”
When an individual needs a reasonable accommodation, the employer is supposed to have an actual or virtual “sit-down” with the individual to brainstorm about reasonable accommodation options. As with all sit-downs, face to face is best, but it’s also fine to do it by telephone or email.
Once all the accommodation options are on the table, the employer considers them all, giving due consideration to any suggestions made by the individual. The employer then chooses the one that works best. If the employee suggests an accommodation that costs $10,000, and the employer knows of an effective accommodation that costs $10, the employer has the right under the law to pick the $10 accommodation.