What Should I Say To My Employer When Requesting An Accommodation For My Disability?
The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) protect you from disability discrimination on the job. These laws also require your employer to make reasonable accommodations—adjustments or modifications that allow you to perform the basic duties of your job. Reasonable accommodations can include modification of facilities such as adjusting your desk to the proper height for a wheelchair, providing different equipment such as a different type of keyboard, and modifying your work schedule.
Requesting an Accommodation for Your Disability
Your employer has an affirmative duty to make reasonable accommodations for your disability, as long as it is not unduly costly or cause an undue hardship. Your employer must also engage in an interactive process with you, which is communicating with you to determine what would be a reasonable accommodation of your disability. To start the process, you will need to do the following:
- You must disclose your disability to at least one person at your job such as your supervisor or a human resources manager. You are not required to disclose everything about your disability, but you must provide enough details to show that you are disabled and need an accommodation.
- You should use certain words when discussing your disability with your employer such as disability, limiting, impairment, major life activities, and accommodation.
- You are not required to request an accommodation in writing. However, it would be extremely useful to put your request in writing as well as orally informing your employer that you need this. You should keep a copy of the request for your records. Making your request in writing protects you if your employer later denies that you made a request for an accommodation.
- You do not need to provide your medical or mental health records to request an accommodation. A letter from your doctor or other medical document showing you have a disability should be sufficient.
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