Did you know that your employer is not supposed to fire you solely because you have a disability that makes it difficult to discharge your duties? It could be a physical or mental disability that impedes your ability to work.
Instead, they are required by law to make adjustments or changes at the workplace that will allow you to do your job, commonly referred to as reasonable accommodation. Examples of reasonable accommodations may include:
- Providing assistive technology
- Modifying work schedules
- Adjusting job duties or responsibilities
- Providing a quieter workspace, among others
It is in line with anti-discrimination laws, specifically the California Fair Employment and Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination based on a worker’s disability.
Requesting reasonable accommodation from your employer
If you require some modifications at the workplace to perform essential functions, you should inform your employer of your accommodation needs and the changes that would help. It is important to do so in writing and provide documentation of your disability for record-keeping purposes.
After receiving the request, your employer must initiate an interactive process to determine appropriate and effective accommodations that would help the situation. Be prepared to discuss potential accommodations and work with your employer to find the best solution.
Reasonable accommodation and undue hardship
An employer may not be legally obligated to provide reasonable accommodation if it would cause them undue hardship. This is a legal term used to describe a situation where the accommodation of an employee with a disability would cause significant difficulty or expense for an employer.
However, employers cannot use undue hardship as a blanket excuse to deny reasonable accommodation. Your employer must consider various factors, such as the company’s financial resources, the nature and cost of the accommodation and the impact of the accommodation on the company’s operations.
Protect your legal rights
Should your employer deny your request for accommodation without valid justification or retaliate against you for requesting the same, it helps to take the necessary action and safeguard your rights and interests.
Disability is not inability, and the law is on your side. You do not have to lose your job or stall in your career simply because of your disability.