Worker Adaptation and Employer Accommodations Following the Onset of a Health Impairment

TitleWorker Adaptation and Employer Accommodations Following the Onset of a Health Impairment
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1996
AuthorsDaly, MC, Bound, J
JournalThe Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences
KeywordsDisabilities, Employment and Labor Force, Health Conditions and Status

This paper examines the extent to which workers, through their own actions or those of their employer, adjust to their health limitations and continue working in the labor market. Results show that age and education are important determinants of the employment outcomes for workers following the onset of health impairments. Older workers are more likely to stay with their original employer if they continue to work, but are overall more likely to exit the labor force. Education seems to have little effect on the decisions to stay or leave an employer, but plays a large role in determining whether a worker stays in or leaves the work force. Workers with at least a high school education are less likely to stop working after the onset of health impairments. Many of the respondents who stayed with their original employer after the onset of health problems reported specific ways in which their employer had accomodated them. This data provides further support for anecdotal evidence that claims that employers often accomodate their workers who suffer from health impairments and that workers who are not accomodated for adjust to their limitations by changing jobs/employers and changing their job demands. The responses of workers and their employers to the onset of work-limiting health impairments were investigated using data from the new Health and Retirement Study. The results indicate that many workers who suffer from health limitations are directly accommodated by their employers, and that those those who do not receive direct accommodation frequently adapt to their limitations by altering their job demands or by changing jobs. These findings point to the potential for adjustments on both sides of the market: by employers, in the form of job accommodation, and by employees, in the form of job change.

Endnote Keywords

Employer Accommodation/Labor Market/Adaptation, Psychological/Disabled Persons

Endnote ID


Citation Key6558