Don’t make these mistakes when seeking a reasonable accommodation

Trying to keep up with your job can be difficult when you have a disability. Yet, you should enjoy the same employment opportunities as everyone else. That’s why the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires certain employers to provide disabled individuals with reasonable accommodations to assist them in performing their job duties. Although you have this protection as a disabled worker, these accommodations will only be provided upon request, and even then, only if they don’t pose an undue burden on your employer.

All too often, though, workers make mistakes when it comes to requesting reasonable accommodations, which denies them what they need to adequately do their job and can result in workplace discrimination. As a result, these workers can face discipline and even termination for work performance that otherwise could’ve been avoided through accommodations.

Reasonable accommodation request errors you’ll want to avoid

There are several mistakes that can be made when requesting a reasonable accommodation. Here are some of the most common:

  • Being unsure of how to ask for an accommodation: A lot of disabled workers put off asking for an accommodation simply because they don’t know how to go about making such a request. This delay in asking is detrimental, as it could put them at risk of being subject to a poor performance review or discipline.
  • Not having proper documentation: Your employer isn’t required to grant you an accommodation just because you asked for it. They have the right to ask for medical documentation that shows your diagnosis and the justification for the accommodation. If you don’t secure this documentation or you put it off too long, then you put yourself and your job in danger.
  • Assuming that your employer will reject your request: Some workers think that their request will be denied, so they don’t see the point in moving forward with it. But this causes you to miss out on an opportunity to properly adhere to your job duties, keep your job, and even advance in your career.
  • Being unwilling to negotiate: Your employer might deny your initial request, but that isn’t necessarily the end of the process. Your employer might be willing to negotiate alternatives to your initial request that are easier for them to accommodate. You should be receptive here before writing it off as something you’ll never be able to achieve, as you might find common ground. Even if you don’t, this negotiating could help support your arguments if you end up taking legal action.
  • Being afraid of legal action: A lot of people don’t like conflict. But you have to be willing to aggressively pursue what you deserve in the workplace. If you don’t, then your rights could be violated, putting you in a difficult position. So, you’ll need to be prepared to advocate for yourself, whether through negotiations or litigation.

Know how to take advantage of your rights under the ADA

You have a lot of rights as a worker. If you get to a point where legal action is warranted, reach out to our experienced attorneys at Alan C. Olson & Associates.


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