New York City’s new law requiring employers to engage in a “cooperative dialogue” with employees requesting reasonable accommodation and provide a written determination at the end of the cooperative dialogue process takes effect on October 15, 2018.
As we have previously reported, while the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) has long required that employers make reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities, pregnancy and related conditions, religious needs, and for victims of domestic violence so long as the accommodations would not impose an “undue hardship” on the employer, the new law will now make it an independent violation under the NYCHRL for employers not to “engage in good faith in a written or oral dialogue” about the needs of persons who may be entitled to an accommodation. This process is referred to under the law as a “cooperative dialogue” (similar to the “interactive process” required for accommodation requests under the Americans with Disabilities Act).
Of particular note for employers, the new law also requires that “[u]pon reaching a final determination at the conclusion of a cooperative dialogue” regarding any accommodation requests that have been made, employers must provide “a written final determination [to the person requesting an accommodation] identifying any accommodation granted or denied.”
Employers are encouraged to review their reasonable accommodation policies and practices to ensure compliance with the new requirements.