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3 steps if you need workplace accommodations for a disability

Maybe you just accepted a new position with a company, or perhaps you just got diagnosed with a medical condition or suffered a serious injury. You may not be able to perform the job as required by your employer without certain support.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) allows those with disabling medical conditions to request reasonable accommodations from their employer so that they can do their job. How do you make a request for accommodations that your employer will agree to?

Obtain medical documentation

The first stage in presenting a compelling claim for workplace accommodations under the ADA is to obtain documentation from a physician clarifying your medical condition and the accommodations that would allow you to do your job safely.

The more medical documentation you have and the more specific the letter from your physician is, the easier it will be for you to request specific kinds of support from your employer.

Follow company practices when making your request

Your employer likely has a system in place involving the human resources department for ADA accommodation requests. Submitting the paperwork required by your employer or following their preferred procedures will make it easier to ask for support on the job.

Keep records of your effort

Sometimes, workers who need reasonable accommodations face discrimination or retaliation from their employers. If your employer fires you or demotes you after you ask for accommodations, keeping records of your interactions with them could help you prove that they discriminated against you.

You may need to talk with an attorney about your case and possibly take your employer to court if they do not remedy the situation. Following the right steps when you need reasonable disability accommodations will help you keep working despite your medical condition.



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