SHRLR Researchers Examine Remote Work as an Accommodation for Employees with Disabilities

Stacy HickoxChenwei Liao

For employees with disabilities, remote work can mean the difference between working and being unemployed. Some individuals may need to work from home because of their limitations.

In their publication “Remote Work as an Accommodation for Employees with Disabilities,” School of Human Resources and Labor Relations Associate Professors Stacy Hickox and Chenwei Liao reviewed 125 court claims from employees seeking remote work as an accommodations. Hickox and Liao’s research identifies four main reasons why employers resist providing remote work arrangements to employees with disabilities.

  1. Inability to perform work duties from a remote location

  2. Need for in person team work or supervision

  3. Need to access or protect technology, data, etc.

  4. Employer policies prohibiting remote work

In “Remote Work as an Accommodation for Employees with Disabilities,” Hickox and Liao propose a new approach to remote work as an accommodation based on Stone & Colella’s model, while explaining four factors that may influence its success, including the attributes of employees with disabilities, co-workers and supervisors, as well as organizational characteristics. Rather than relying on a blanket policy against remote work, by analyzing the feasibility of remote work as an accommodation in light of these four factors, utilizing the wealth of research on what makes remote work successful, employees with disabilities would have more equitable access to work that can be performed at home.

Read the Article