As an employer, do I need to give preference to a qualified applicant with a disability over other qualified applicants?

Minneapolis employment and labor law attorney, Mary Krakow, shares how employers can approach prospective employees with disabilities.

Contact Mary Krakow

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (612) 492-7569


No, employers do not have to give preference to the qualified disabled applicant over other applicants. Employers should always strive to hire the best-qualified candidate applicant for the position. Now, that said, employers should be prepared to provide reasonable accommodation to an applicant who is disabled who informs the employer I will need an accommodation to complete the application interview and hiring process.

For example, a qualified disabled applicant might find out that they’re called in for an interview based on their paper qualifications and the employer tells the applicant and we’ll be holding the interview on the second floor of our warehouse building. And when the applicant says well, is there an elevator in that building because I am in a wheelchair. The employer should be prepared to move that interview to another place that would better accommodate, obviously, accommodate that person in a wheelchair at all if the building doesn’t have an elevator.

So qualified disabled applicants need to be given equal opportunities to show that they are the best qualified for a position so they can be hired that means employers much give reasonable accommodation if it’s not an undue hardship to do it but an employer always can hire the best-qualified person for the open position.