Suppose you have a disability that makes it difficult or impossible to do your job without some adjustments. Your employer may be required to make reasonable changes at the workplace that will enable you to perform your duties.
The California Fair Employment and Housing Act requires employers with five or more employees to accommodate disabled workers in the interests of providing equal employment opportunities.
What constitutes reasonable accommodation?
A reasonable accommodation is any change to the job or work environment that enables a qualifying disabled person to perform their job. It may include things like:
- Making the workplace more accessible by installing ramps or elevators
- Restructuring work schedules to allow longer breaks
- Purchase or modification of workplace equipment such as chairs and computers
Removing essential functions from a job or offering items such as a wheelchair, prosthetics or eyeglasses for personal use off the job is not considered reasonable accommodation.
What can you do to get reasonable accommodation at your workplace?
Begin by disclosing your disability to your employer. Have a detailed explanation of your disability and how it relates to your work. It is wise to have medical records that prove your disability, just in case your employer requires them.
After disclosure, you may have an interactive session with your employer to find out the best solution. Employers are legally obligated to provide reasonable accommodation as long as it does not cause them or other employees undue hardship.
You have protections from workplace discrimination
Failure to provide reasonable accommodation is a form of workplace discrimination. Should your employer ignore your request for reasonable accommodation, you should protect your legal rights by taking the necessary action. Everyone deserves equal employment opportunities, and disability should not change that.