The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has been hailed by advocates for persons with disabilities as the most important civil rights act passed since 1964, and as the “Emancipation Proclamation” for Americans with disabilities. Critics of the ADA “cast the law as overly broad, difficult to interpret, inefficient, and as a preferential treatment initiative.” Other question whether the law’s economic benefits outweigh its administrative costs. Empirical data also suggests that “the ADA’s track record in improving employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities appears dismal.” Aggravating the problem, and contrary to the media’s portrayal of the ADA as a windfall statute for plaintiffs. Studies show that individuals with disabilities are finding it nearly impossible to win in court. Nonetheless, by providing “a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities,” the ADA is an innovative attempt by Congress to address the pervasive problem of discrimination against persons with disabilities. More than eight years after the effective date of Title I, fundamental questions remain. This Note examines one aspect of the ongoing evaluation and debate: What responsibilities do employers and employees have in the reasonable accommodation process? The Federal regulations implementing the ADA provide guidance by suggesting that employers participate in an “interactive process” to help their employees find reasonable accommodation. However, courts remain divided on the question whether employers must participate in an interactive process and whether they can be held liable for failure to do so. The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit recently had the opportunity to consider this issue in Fjellestad v. Pizza Hut of America, Inc.

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