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Asking for reasonable accommodations at work due to disability

On Behalf of | Jun 5, 2022 | Workplace Discrimination |

California employees who have disabilities have rights to ensure they can do their jobs. One of them is the federal requirement to be provided with reasonable accommodations.

What are reasonable accommodations?

Reasonable accommodations are changes made to a disabled employee’s working environment to allow them to perform the duties of their job. This can include anything from incorporating special software or equipment to increasing the space of the workstation to providing certain working hours. These accommodations are called “reasonable” because they should not prevent a person from being able to perform the regular tasks expected in their job.

How to ask for reasonable accommodations

If you have a disability and believe it might create difficulty in your ability to perform your regular job duties, it’s your right to request reasonable accommodations from your employer. You don’t have to do it in writing, but it’s good practice to have documentation in the form of paper or email.

You can either go directly to your supervisor or the human resources department if your company has one. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, you can say that you need an adjustment to your workstation. However, if your disability is not immediately apparent, you have to state that you have a disability. Per the Americans with Disabilities Act, your employer is only obligated by law to provide reasonable accommodations if it’s clear that you have a disability.

Sometimes, medical records are needed to back up your request. You should explain why you need reasonable accommodations but don’t have to go into much detail. After your request, your employer should respond soon. They might provide you with temporary accommodations before something permanent is provided.

As long as reasonable accommodations don’t bring undue hardship to employers, they’re obligated to provide such accommodations to workers with disabilities. It’s worth looking into if you are denied.