Does An Employer Need To Provide Wheelchair-Accessible Parking?

For those with a physical disability, having wheelchair-accessible parking is a game-changer. Ensuring you can get in and out of your car safely and easily is so important. Having wheelchair-accessible parking at the workplace can have a huge impact on your commute. This is particularly the case for drivers who are already nervous behind the wheel.

Getting a disabled parking permit helps you to access wheelchair-accessible parking. Applying for a permit is a simple process for those with a qualifying condition. While these conditions vary from state to state, they typically include those such as:

  • Loss of mobility
  • Loss of limb
  • Limited vision
  • Lung illness
  • Cardiac conditions

Unfortunately, it can often be difficult to navigate the world of disabled parking, as rules surrounding parking permits vary from state, and regional laws may differ. Many people are unsure as to what they are entitled to as part of their employment, and knowing employer parking laws can be confusing. That’s where the ADA comes in.

wheelchair user
Image by stevepb on Pixabay: What accommodations does an employer have to provide to employees with disabilities?

What Are The ADA Disabled Parking Rules?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was designed to protect the rights of Americans living with disabilities and offer standardized guidelines for employers to follow. The ADA sets the standards for what disabled parking spaces should look like. They should have a minimum size (eight feet wide, plus five feet of aisle space on either side) to allow for easy access to and from the vehicle, and they should also be clearly marked or signposted with the International Symbol of Access. They must be situated near the most accessible entrance of the building they serve, and must provide an accessible route to and from this entrance.

Does An Employer Need To Provide Wheelchair-Accessible Parking?

Any company with more than 15 employees has to abide by the ADA guidelines. Your employer must make every reasonable accommodation for you as a disabled employee. If an employer provides their own parking lot for employees, this must have a certain number of disabled parking spaces. If you have a physical disability and use a wheelchair, your employer must make a wheelchair-accessible parking space available to you if parking in a private lot is a perk that they provide.

However, some employers do not provide parking for their employees. This is not a legal requirement, so your employer does not need to provide it. If employee parking is not offered at your place of work (if your employer does not own their own parking lot, for example), it is not the employer’s responsibility to provide wheelchair-accessible parking. In this case, it is the responsibility of whichever parking lot the employee generally uses.

How Many Disabled Parking Spaces Should There Be In A Parking Lot?

The ADA sets standards when it comes to how many disabled parking spaces should be allocated to each parking lot. The amount of wheelchair-accessible and disabled parking places per lot depends on its total capacity. Under current standards, this means that for every 25 parking spaces there must be one accessible van space. For a lot that has 300 spaces, at least seven must be accessible. There must also be an access aisle provided to enable wheelchair users to easily enter and exit the parking lot without obstruction.

employee parking lot
Image by JayMantri on Pixabay: Do employers have to accommodate people with disabilities?

The Bottom Line: Do Employers Have To Provide Parking For Disabled Employees

While you have rights as a disabled parking permit holder, simply owning a permit does not mean your employer is required to provide wheelchair-accessible parking. The ADA states that employers must make all reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities. However, if the employer cannot reasonably provide disabled parking, and if it places undue hardship on them, they are not obliged to do so.

Some employers may provide wheelchair-accessible parking, but there may be not be enough disabled parking spaces for each employee who needs one. Situations like this can be stressful and difficult to manage, but the best way to sort them out is to have a conversation with your employer to see what can be done to accommodate both your needs and theirs.

It is important that you can access wheelchair-accessible parking, and it is your right to do so. However, it can be complicated to negotiate what must be provided by your employer, and what constitutes reasonable grounds for the provision of disabled parking places. Fortunately, the ADA is there to help those with disabilities live life as easily as possible, and most employers are willing to make the necessary accommodations for their employees.

Featured image by overjupiter on Pixabay

Handicap Parking As An Employee: All You Need To Know

Parking is often a perk of employment. In many cases, employees are provided with a place to park while they’re on the job. But what does this mean if you’re disabled?

Handicap parking as an employee is something protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Still, many people have questions about how they should be accommodated by their employer and what types of things must be provided.

Here’s what you need to know about employers accommodating people with disabilities as it relates to providing parking for employees while they’re on the job.

Do Employers Have To Provide Parking For Disabled Employees?

Any business with more than 15 employees has to abide by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when it comes to accommodating disabilities. Under the ADA, there are specific requirements they must follow – including parking. Of course, some factors influence this, such as whether or not the employer is in control of the parking lot and whether or not providing you with parking falls into the category of reasonable accommodation if you have a disability.

disabled parking signage
Image by Possessed Photography on Unsplash: Handicap parking as an employee can get complicated. Talk to your employer for help.

If your employer owns and operates the parking lot you park in, and you are disabled, there are certain standards they must operate under to ensure they are in compliance with the ADA. For example, they must have a certain quantity of parking spaces in the lot accessible for employees with disabilities, and must provide accessible parking spaces if it’s a reasonable accommodation for someone with a disability that they employ.

If an employer does not own a parking lot and therefore does not offer parking as a perk to its employees, under the ADA they generally do not have to provide accessible parking to employees with disabilities. Whatever entity does control the parking where employees park is generally responsible for providing accessible parking under the ADA.

What Percentage of Parking Should Be Disabled?

There are standards set forth by the ADA as to how many accessible parking spaces must be in a lot. The number of accessible spaces is determined by the full number of spaces in the parking lot. For example, a parking lot with up to 25 parking spaces must have at least one accessible van space. A lot with between 25 and 50 spaces must have at least one standard accessible space and one accessible space for a van. The number goes all the way up to lots that have 300 total spaces, of which at least seven must be accessible.

In addition to the overall number of spots, these lots must also provide an access aisle to an accessible route – i.e. one that can provide an unobstructed and continuous route to the facility the parking lot serves.

What If There Aren’t Enough Accessible Parking Spaces?

In some circumstances, there may be more employees needing disabled parking than there are designated accessible spots in the lot. When this happens, what do you do?

Employers have to take into consideration what each employee needs to determine if accessible parking is really an accommodation they require. If it places undue hardship on the employer, the ADA does allow them to turn down a request for accommodations.

disabled parking spots with blue lines
mage by Robert Ruggiero on Unsplash: Accommodating employees with disabilities is guaranteed by the law, but whether that includes parking depends on a few factors.

Ultimately, it’s up to the employer to define what a reasonable accommodation for a disability is when it comes to work. If they do not provide parking, then they may be able to come up with alternatives that provide designated or accessible parking to allow the employee with a disability to continue their employment.

It’s important to also understand that even if you have a disabled parking placard, an employer who does not provide parking as a perk of employment does not have to automatically provide parking for you, unless it can be negotiated as part of what is considered a reasonable accommodation under the ADA.

You have rights as a disabled person to be able to access parking, but the ins and outs of the laws that govern this type of thing can be a bit tricky. Your best bet is to discuss your accommodations with your employer to decide what solution best fits everyone involved.

Featured image by Josh Sorenson on Pexels