A Seat at the Table: Accommodations for Restaurant Employees

Nearly all employers are legally required to provide reasonable accommodation for employees with disabilities. But the restaurant industry is unique and therefore presents some unique compliance challenges. For example, restaurant employees are often asked to complete particularly wide-ranging and physically-demanding roles and responsibilities—from interacting with customers to preparing food to cleaning dining spaces. Balancing the fast-paced nature of the service industry with the need to accommodate individual employees requires proactive measures and a nuanced understanding of employees’ needs. This article identifies a few legal compliance issues that restaurant owners may encounter.