If a subcontractor or temporary agency is the legal employer of an individual, how can they comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirement to provide reasonable accommodations to persons with physical disabilities, if their employees do not physically work at their legal address?

Is there a general principle that guides employees, agencies, and the end-client in these situations? If there is a general theory - is there a list of specific rules that can be referred to?

  • Here's some EEOC statements about temporary and other staffing firms: eeoc.gov/policy/docs/guidance-contingent.html
    – mkennedy
    May 21, 2015 at 17:53
  • It is my understanding that the property owner bears the burden for physical access. As to providing assistive technologies, that would most likely be a contractual concern between the agency and the company using the agency. However, compliance with ADA is a legal issue, and offering legal advice is off-topic for this site. Have to VTC. Jun 24, 2015 at 13:34
  • I would refer you to this site's policy on what is and is not in scope for workplace: workplace.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic Jun 24, 2015 at 13:47
  • @WesleyLong See my answer. See also Mr Doggen's answer and why it is not a contractual concern. It is a matter of general law that agencies and end-clients are BOTH considered an employer of a certain person. As employer(s), all are required to follow the same rules, and in fact, all are required by existing statute to work together to ascertain and provide reasonable accommodation. Jun 25, 2015 at 0:07

2 Answers 2


If their employees do not physically work at their legal address they will work at some other company's legal address and there will be a contract between the two companies.

In that contract company X can stipulate that company Y should comply with ADA, if that is not already explicitly required by law (in which case no additional statements are necessary in the contract).

If there are are already explicit requirements in law, they can go two ways. As an example, here in Holland, in building and construction work, there is a 'chain accountability', where a contractor can be held accountable for a subcontractor not sticking to some laws.

Whether such requirements exist in American law regarding ADA (and hence, whether the contractor/subcontractor need to write something about ADA in their contract), is a legal issue that is off-topic for this site.
You will have to research that elsewhere. I'm sure that ada.gov or any other site about ADA will have that info somewhere.

  • I can't see how this is the right answer. In a agency/end-client situation, both companies are considered to be an employer, they are joint employers. That one employer could stipulate some subset of the law that applies equally to them both is just not reasonable, and actually I would think, illegal itself. You just can't draft a contract that says to another, obey they law, or our contract is done. Jun 24, 2015 at 14:47

The party that operates the physical location where the temporary worker is stationed is one of the employee's several, joint, employers if: such party supervises and directs employee's work. As such any and all of several, joint, employer(s) are subject to and liable for compliance with the Americans With Disability Act.

Thank you M Kennedy. for providing a reference to Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidelines regarding contingent and temporary staffing firms, circa. 2001

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