The Measurement and Structural Modeling of the Reasonableness of Workplace Accommodations

  • Wesley A. Scroggins


The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) guarantees protection from discrimination for persons with a disability. The ADA requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for persons with physical and mental disabilities unless doing so would produce undue hardship on the organization. Fifteen years after the passage of the ADA, the question as to what is a reasonable accommodation remains controversial, especially for some types of disabilities. In this study, a reasonable accommodation scale is proposed and tested using structural equation modeling in hopes that such a scale will aid the courts and organizations in determining what is reasonable. Individuals’ level of awareness of disability issues is also examined in the model to examine the relationship between awareness and willingness to accommodate. Results indicate acceptable fit of the model to the data and provide support for the proposed scale. Furthermore, the relationship between awareness of disability issues and willingness to accommodate was significant. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

Key Words

reasonable accommodation disability americans with disabilities act employment structural equation modeling 


  1. Bruyere, S. M. (1996). Employing and accommodating workers with psychiatric disabilities. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University, Program on Employment and Disability.Google Scholar
  2. Cascio, W. F. (1994). The Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 and the 1991 Civil Rights Act: Requirements for psychological practice in the workplace. In B., Sales, G., & Vandenbos (Eds.) Psychology in litigation and legislation pp. 179–211. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  3. Chafkin, R. (1993). Work-site accommodation for people with psychiatric disabilities. Washington, DC: President’s Committee on Employment of People With Disabilities.Google Scholar
  4. Churchill, G. A. (1979). A paradigm for developing better measures of marketing constructs. Journal of Marketing Research, 16, 64–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cook, S. W. (1978). Interpersonal and attitudinal outcomes incorporating interracial groups. Journal of Research and Development in Education, 12, 97–113.Google Scholar
  6. Fiedler, J. F. (1994). Mental disabilities and the Americans With Disabilities Act. Westport, Connecticut: Quorum Books.Google Scholar
  7. Florian, V. (1978). Employers’ opinions of the disabled person as a worker. Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin, 22, 38–43.Google Scholar
  8. Fornell, C., & Yi, Y. (1992). Assumptions of the two-step approach to latent variable modeling. Sociological Methods and Research, 20(3), 291–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Fox, H. R. (1999). EEOC guidelines on reasonable accommodation and undue hardship under the ADA. The Industrial-Organizational Psychologist, 37(2), 128–130.Google Scholar
  10. Galvin, D. E., Tate, D. G., & Schwartz, G. E. (1986). Disability management research: Current status, needs and implications for study. Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling, 17(3), 43–48.Google Scholar
  11. Hoyle, R. H., & Panter, A. T. (1995). Writing about structural equation models. In R. H., & Hoyle (Eds.) Structural equation modeling: Concepts, issues, and applications pp. 158–176. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  12. Hu, L., & Bentler, P. M. (1999). Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling, 6(1), 155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hulland, J., Chow, Y. H., & Lam, S. (1996). Use of casual models in marketing research: A review. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 13, 181–197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Levy, J. M., Jessop, D. J., Rimmerman, A., & Levy, P. H. (1992). Attitudes of Fortune 500 corporate executives toward the employability of persons with severe disabilities: A national study. Mental Retardation, 30(2), 67–75.Google Scholar
  15. Levy, J. M., Jessop, D. J., Rimmerman, A., & Levy, P. H. (1993). Attitudes of executives in Fortune 500 corporations toward the employability of persons with severe disabilities: Industrial and service corporations. Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling, 24(2), 19–30.Google Scholar
  16. MacCallum, R. C., Browne, M. W., & Sugawara, H. M. (1996). Power analysis and determination of sample size for covariance structure modeling. Psychological Methods, 1(2), 130–149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. McFarlin, D. B., Song, J., & Sonntag, M. (1991). Integrating the disabled into the workforce: A survey of Fortune 500 company attitudes and practices. Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal, 4(2), 107–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. McQuitty, S. (2000). Statistical power and structural equation models in business research. Unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
  19. Nosse, L. J. (1993). Effect of direct contact on students’ ratings of adults with impairments. College Student Journal, 27(3), 396 400.Google Scholar
  20. Nunnally, J. C. (1967). Psychometric theory. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  21. Overton v. Reilly, 977 F. 2d 1190 (U.S. App. 1992).Google Scholar
  22. Pantazes v. Jackson, 366 F. Supp. 57 (U.S. Dist. 2005).Google Scholar
  23. Rodal v. Anesthesia Group of Onondaga P.C., 28 NDLR 112 (2d Cir. 2004).Google Scholar
  24. Satcher, J., & Hendren, G. R. (1991). Acceptance of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 by persons preparing to enter the business field. Journal of Rehabilitation Counseling, 22(2), 15–18.Google Scholar
  25. Schneid, T. (1992). The Americans With Disabilites Act: A practical guide for managers. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.Google Scholar
  26. Schumacker, R. E., & Lomax, R. G. (1996). A beginner’s guide to structural equation modeling. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  27. Scroggins, W. A. (1997). The relationships among disability type, religious orientation, awareness and accommodation type and perceived reasonableness of accommodation. Unpublished master’s thesis, Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield.Google Scholar
  28. Willman, S. K. (2004, May). The new law of training. HR Magazine, 49, 115–118.Google Scholar
  29. Zuckerman, D. (1993). Reasonable accommodations for people with mental illness under the ADA. Mental and Physical Disability Law Reporter, 17(3), 311–320.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ManagementMissouri State UniversitySpringfieldUSA

Personalised recommendations