Young woman with prosthetic arm at office deskIn California, employees with disabilities or medical conditions are protected by laws guaranteeing their right to workplace accommodations. If you have a disability that requires workplace accommodations to perform your job effectively, it is essential to know how to request accommodations from your employer. 

One of the first steps to receiving the accommodations you need is to understand your rights, identify what accommodations will benefit you, and initiate a dialogue with your employer. If your employer does not engage in the interactive process or denies your accommodation request unjustly, the leading employment lawyers at Blackstone Law are here to help. We will review your case, provide legal guidance and help you navigate the legal process to obtain the justice you deserve. 

How to Request Accommodations in the Workplace

If you are experiencing challenges that prevent or make it difficult to participate in the hiring process, perform your job, meet a job standard, or access other benefits of employment, take the following steps to request accommodations: 

Understand Your Rights

California offers robust protections for employees with disabilities through laws such as the Fair Employment and Housing Act and California Family Rights Act. Disabilities, mental and physical, are protected characteristics, and employers have strict obligations to provide reasonable accommodations. 

Identify Your Accommodation Needs

Assess your specific needs related to your disability or medical condition and how they impact your ability to perform job functions. Consider potential accommodations that could address these challenges. Identifying the accommodations that will enable you to perform your job will help you make a compelling request. 

Initiate a Dialogue With Your Employer

Open communication with your employer. Start by speaking with a supervisor, human resource department, or another designated point of contact within your organization. Clearly articulate your disability or medical condition and explain how it affects your ability to perform certain job tasks. Be prepared to provide any relevant documentation from healthcare professionals supporting your request. 

Submit a Written Accommodation Request

Formally submit your accommodation request in writing to your employer. Outline specific accommodations you require and provide clear explanations of how they would enable you to perform your job effectively. Attach any supporting documentation, such as medical certificates or recommendations from medical professionals. Retain all copies of all correspondence for your records. 

Engage in the Interactive Process

Employers are required to engage in an interactive process to assess and determine appropriate accommodations. This process involves an open dialogue between you and your employer to explore potential accommodations and find mutually agreeable solutions. Cooperate with your employer, provide any additional information or clarification they may need, and actively participate in finding workable accommodations. 

Maintain Detailed Documentation

Throughout the request process, it is vital to keep thorough documentation. Keep records of all communications, including emails, meetings, and any agreements or decisions reached. This documentation will prove your efforts to request accommodations and will be invaluable if any disputes arise. 

Seek Legal Support

If your employer fails to engage in the interactive process or denies accommodation requests unjustly, it may be necessary to seek legal counsel. Consult an employment lawyer who can review your case and help you fight for the justice you deserve. You may be eligible to recover damages such as front and back pay, reinstatement if you get terminated due to disability, emotional distress, and other damages. 

It is important to note family members, health care providers, or a designated advocate familiar with your disability can ask your employer for accommodation on your behalf.

9 Types of Accommodations You Can Request 

The following are examples of reasonable accommodations:

  1. Accessibility of facilities 
  2. Position restructuring 
  3. Modified work schedules 
  4. Acquiring or modifying equipment 
  5. Modifying tests, training materials, or policies 
  6. Providing readers or interpreters 
  7. Job reassignment 
  8. Medical leave 
  9. Remote work 

If an employer cannot provide the accommodation due to finances or other challenges in relation to the employer’s resources and the needs of the business, then the employer does not have to provide you with the requested accommodation

Speak With the Award-Winning Employment Lawyers at Blackstone Law 

Requesting accommodation in the workplace is a fundamental right protected by California law. The leading employment lawyers at Blackstone Law can help ensure your employer complies with disability laws or is held accountable for failing to provide reasonable accommodations when requested. 

Schedule a no-cost consultation today by calling (310) 956-4054 or filling out a contact form.