Workplace accommodations for employees with disabilities: a multilevel model of employer decision-making

Telwatte, Apsara, Anglim, Jeromy, Wynton, Sarah KA and Moulding, Richard 2017, Workplace accommodations for employees with disabilities: a multilevel model of employer decision-making, Rehabilitation psychology, vol. 62, no. 1, pp. 7-19, doi: 10.1037/rep0000120.

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Title Workplace accommodations for employees with disabilities: a multilevel model of employer decision-making
Author(s) Telwatte, Apsara
Anglim, JeromyORCID iD for Anglim, Jeromy
Wynton, Sarah KA
Moulding, RichardORCID iD for Moulding, Richard
Journal name Rehabilitation psychology
Volume number 62
Issue number 1
Start page 7
End page 19
Total pages 13
Publisher American Psychological Association
Place of publication Washington, D.C.
Publication date 2017-02
ISSN 0090-5550
Keyword(s) accommodations
psychological disability
Social Sciences
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Psychology, Clinical
Mental-health problems
Summary Existing research suggests that the decision to grant or deny workplace accommodations for people with disabilities is influenced by a range of legal and nonlegal factors. However, less is known about how these factors operate at the within-person level. Thus, we proposed and tested a multilevel model of the accommodation decision-making process, which we applied to better understand why people with psychological disabilities often experience greater challenges in obtaining accommodations. A sample of 159 Australian adults, composed mostly of managers and HR professionals, read 12 vignettes involving requests for accommodations from existing employees. The requests differed in whether they were for psychological or physical disabilities. For each vignette, participants rated their empathy with the employee, the legitimacy of the employee’s disability, the necessity for productivity, the perceived cost, and the reasonableness, and indicated whether they would grant the accommoda- tion. Multilevel modeling indicated that greater empathy, legitimacy, and necessity, and lower perceived cost predicted perceptions of greater reasonableness and greater granting. Accommodation requests from employees with psychological disabilities were seen as less reasonable and were less likely to be granted; much of this effect seemed to be driven by perceptions that such accommodations were less necessary for productivity. Ratings on accommodations were influenced both by general between-person tendencies and within-person appraisals of particular scenarios. The study points to a need for organizations to more clearly establish guidelines for how decision-makers should fairly evaluate accommodation requests for employees with psychological dis- abilities and disability more broadly.
Language eng
DOI 10.1037/rep0000120
Field of Research 170107 Industrial and Organisational Psychology
1701 Psychology
Socio Economic Objective 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2017, American Psychological Association
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Psychology
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