Close Menu


Accommodation and Compliance: Arthritis

On This Page

About Arthritis

Arthritis is a condition that includes inflammatory and noninflammatory diseases that affect the body's joints and connective tissue. Tendons, cartilage, blood vessels, and internal organs are also often affected. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, but two of the more common are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid. Pain and swelling are often associated with arthritis.

Arthritis and the Americans with Disabilities Act

The ADA does not contain a list of medical conditions that constitute disabilities. Instead, the ADA has a general definition of disability that each person must meet. A person has a disability if he/she has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having an impairment. For more information about how to determine whether a person has a disability under the ADA, see How to Determine Whether a Person Has a Disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA).

Accommodating Employees with Arthritis

People with arthritis may develop some of the limitations discussed below, but seldom develop all of them. Also, the degree of limitation will vary among individuals. Be aware that not all people with arthritis will need accommodations to perform their jobs and many others may only need a few accommodations. The following is only a sample of the possibilities available. Numerous other accommodation solutions may exist.

Questions to Consider:

  1. What limitations is the employee experiencing?
  2. How do these limitations affect the employee and the employee’s job performance?
  3. What specific job tasks are problematic as a result of these limitations?
  4. What accommodations are available to reduce or eliminate these problems? Are all possible resources being used to determine possible accommodations?
  5. Has the employee been consulted regarding possible accommodations?
  6. Once accommodations are in place, would it be useful to meet with the employee to evaluate the effectiveness of the accommodations and to determine whether additional accommodations are needed?
  7. Do supervisory personnel and employees need training?

Accommodation Ideas:

Situations and Solutions:

Events Regarding Arthritis

Other Information Regarding Arthritis


American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association
American Chronic Pain Association
American Physical Therapy Association
American Society for Surgery of the Hand
Arthritis Foundation
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Institute for Chronic Pain
Job Accommodation Network
National Center for Biotechnology Information
National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
National Institute on Aging
National Organization for Rare Disorders
National Osteoporosis Foundation
Office of Disability Employment Policy
Remedy's Health Communites
Rheumatoid Arthritis Support Network
The Hand and Wrist Institute