An accounting firm has just contacted your consulting business for assistance. They want to hire someone to do accounting and payroll. The bookstore is downstairs, while the office is upstairs in an older building. The essential functions of the job include operating a computer, maintaining a ledger, providing the owner with financial statements, completing tax returns, paying bills and employees, and balancing the bank statements. The desk for this is at the top of a flight of 24 steps. There is no elevator, and the building is too old to be ADA compliant. The firm is struggling financially, but hopes to increase sales as a new coffee shop just opened next door. The most qualified applicant to their advertisement has just come into the bookstore in a wheelchair.
Summarize your consulting recommendations to the accounting firm. Be sure to discuss whether this candidate is capable of performing the essential functions of this job from a wheelchair. Analyze the issue of reasonable accommodation. What does the law say? Could the employer make a reasonable accommodation here to hire the best candidate for this job? How could they do that considering their tight finances?
Find a court case on ADA that has reached a verdict, how did the court case interpret the law as written? How might that outcome provide any insight or application to the discussion scenario or to reasonable accommodation, in general?
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