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Photo of Michelle Cohen Levy
Photo of Michelle Cohen Levy

How can reasonable accommodations help me at work?

On Behalf of | Apr 26, 2023 | Workplace Discrimination |

Having a disability is challenging. It affects all aspects of your life, including daily activities, personal relationships or even your employment. Still, the law aims to help address these issues and combat disability discrimination with policies protecting your rights in the workplace.

Federal disability laws enforce equal opportunities at work. Depending on the circumstances, employers could provide reasonable accommodation when a disabled employee or candidate requests it. You can ask for it if you have a condition that falls under the legal definition of disability.

The reasonable accommodation should help disabled employees continue to qualify for a job and perform their duties despite their impairments. The employer could implement the following:

  • Better accessibility, such as ramps for wheelchair users
  • Readers or interpreters for employees who are blind or deaf
  • Schedule adjustments as needed
  • Providing leaves for disability-related emergencies
  • Reassignment if no reasonable accommodations are applicable for the present job position

Still, reasonable accommodations are not extreme changes that could put undue hardships on the business. Employers could only provide if the cost is manageable for their resources.

Who are eligible for reasonable accommodations?

Anyone with a valid disability could apply for it. Fortunately, the law covers people who:

  • Suffer a mental or physical condition that considerably impacts major life activities
  • Have a medical history reflecting the disability
  • Might experience adverse effects in employment because of their condition, its symptoms and impairments related to it

The eligibility of a condition is not based on permanence or severity. Federal laws can cover it as long as the symptoms can significantly hinder how the employee functions.

Additionally, employees have a right to keep their disability details private. Employers must keep them confidential as they receive them throughout the employee’s time with them.