Skip to Main Content

Disability Nondiscrimination Law Advisor

Undue Hardship

The term "undue hardship" is defined as "significant difficulty or expense" to the employer, determined in light of specific factors listed in the regulations noted below. Examples of these factors include the size, type, and budget of the employer's business or operation and the nature and cost of the accommodation. Undue hardship must be determined on a case-by-base basis; for example, a larger employer may be able to bear a more significant cost than a smaller employer based upon the number of employees and the budget the employer has to work with. For more information about the determination of undue hardship, see Appendix to 29 CFR Part 1630.

Federal disability nondiscrimination laws use a similar definition of "undue hardship." While the precise wording of each definition may differ from regulation to regulation, the essential meaning of the term remains the same. The following list explains where the definition of "undue hardship" may be found in the regulations implementing each of the listed statutes. If you have a question about the specific meaning for the term "undue hardship" under a particular statute, see the specific regulation in question.

  • Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act - 29 CFR 1630.2(p)
  • Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act - (Title II adopts the employment standards of Title I of the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. See 28 CFR 35.140)State and local government employers that are not subject to ADA Title I must follow the regulations implementing Title II of the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act that have been issued by the appropriate Federal agency.
  • Section 188 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 - 29 CFR 37.4
  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended - 29 CFR 32.13(b) of the Department of Labor's (DOL) regulations. DOL's Section 504 regulations are for recipients of DOL financial assistance. If your business or organization receives financial assistance from another Federal agency, be sure to consult that agency's 504 regulations
  • Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended- 41 CFR 60-741.2(w)(2) and Appendix A of 41 CFR Part 60-741.
  • Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 - 41 CFR 60-300.2(u); also see Appendix A of 41 CFR Part 60-300.