Advocating For California Employee Rights

Seeking reasonable accommodation in your workplace

On Behalf of | Dec 26, 2023 | Employment Law

You have the right to request reasonable accommodation If you have a disability that makes it difficult to  perform the essential functions of your job. This entails adjustments to the workplace that enable you to carry out your job duties effectively.

Reasonable accommodation is all about ensuring equality and fairness in the workplace. Some common examples include:

  • Adjusting work hours or providing flexible scheduling to accommodate medical appointments or treatments
  • Modifying physical work environments by providing ergonomic furniture, accessible facilities or altering workstation layouts to suit specific needs
  • Supplying specialized equipment or technology such as screen readers, voice recognition software or adaptive keyboards to aid employees you in performing their tasks
  • Allowing remote work arrangements to accommodate employees who may find it challenging to commute or work in a traditional office environment due to their disabilities

It’s never a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to reasonable accommodation. It depends on your unique needs and the nature of your job.

The steps to take

When seeking reasonable accommodation, begin by assessing your specific needs and how they relate to your job responsibilities. Inform your employer, preferably in writing, clearly explaining your needs and accommodation ideas supported by relevant medical documentation or assessment.

This should open up a discussion, exploring potential accommodations that could address your needs without fundamentally altering the nature of your job. It helps to be open to suggestions and alternatives that align with both your needs and the operational requirements of the workplace.

It is also worth noting that there is no specific time limit within which an employer must respond to a request for reasonable accommodation, but they should do so within a reasonable period. Additionally, an employer may not be legally obligated to provide reasonable accommodation if doing so will mean significant difficulty or expense.

As you navigate the process of seeking reasonable accommodation, consider seeking legal guidance to better understand your rights and help ensure fair treatment. It can also help you take informed action and assert your legal rights in the spirit of a discrimination-free workplace.