A reasonable accommodation is assistance or a change in the job or the workplace that the employer can do to help an employee with a disability to do his or her job. Examples of reasonable accommodations may include:
- A finite leave of absence;
- A change in work hours because the employee is on medication that makes it difficult to function in the early morning;
- A change to the work environment, such as providing the employee with ergonomically-engineered office furniture; or
- A change to the job application or promotion process that will allow a qualified employee with a disability to apply and be considered for the position.
The employer does not necessarily have to agree to the requested accommodation, if the accommodation would impose an “undue hardship” on the employer.
It is the employee’s responsibility to make the employer aware of the need for accommodation in the first place. If the employer has no knowledge or notice of the employee’s disability or need for accommodation, the employer is not required to anticipate what the employee needs or to guess at what might help the employee.
If you require reasonable accommodation at the workplace, you should make a request. However, you don’t have to make the request in writing or use any particular language. Once an employee requests an accommodation or the employer is put on notice of the employee’s need for accommodation, the employer has a legal obligation to engage in an “interactive process” with the employee to collaborate on finding a reasonable accommodation.
If your employer has ignored your requests for a reasonable accommodation, if you are fired after taking a leave of absence, or if you fired while on a medical leave, you may have a claim for disability discrimination and/or failure to accommodate. At Clark Employment Law, we are committed to helping employees with disabilities in asserting their rights. It is your civil right to be free from discrimination merely because you need a reasonable accommodation to perform your job. Please contact our Los Angeles based attorneys. We will thoroughly assess your situation and assist you in pursuing all legal remedies that are available to you.