Requesting an Accommodation (video)

A video discussing some of the ins and outs of requesting an accommodation in the workplace.

(happy music)

Hello everyone, I'd like to share with you some of the ins and outs of requesting an accommodation in the workplace.

Did you know that if a qualified applicant or employee has a disability, an employer is required to make a reasonable accommodation for that person?

Reasonable accommodations are adjustments provided by an employer so that people with disabilities can enjoy equal employment opportunities.

It is important to note that accommodations cannot impose an undue hardship on business operations, and employers are not required to lower quality or production standards to make an accommodation.

For an employee, making an accommodation request should be pretty straightforward. There is no need to include or mention the ADA or use the words "reasonable accommodation" specifically, and a verbal request is just as valid as a written request. However, a formal request is beneficial because it leaves a paper trail. Let's look at an example of a reasonable accommodation.

My friend Daniel is having trouble getting to work on time in the morning because of his medical treatments. To accommodate, Daniel's boss has agreed to let him come into work a little later every day. If an employee needs an accommodation for a hidden disability like Daniel, their employer may ask for reasonable documentation. However, there are two specific situations in which an employer should not ask for documentation for an accommodation.

The first is if the disability and need for reasonable accommodation are obvious. And the second is if the information has already been provided supporting the ADA definition of a disability and the need for reasonable accommodation.

Another time that reasonable accommodation can be necessary is during the application process. For example, an applicant may request an American Sign Language interpreter for the in-person interview.

When an employer considers an accommodation, their focus should be on the abilities and limitations of the individual, not on the name of a disability or a physical or mental condition. This is because people who have the same disability may have very different abilities and limitations.

On the flip side, people with different kinds of disabilities may have similar limitations. To be qualified for employment, an applicant or employee must be able to perform essential job functions. In other words, the job duties that are fundamental to the position. They are the reason the job exists.

For example, if a person is hired to drive a vehicle, the ability to drive is an essential function because this is the reason the position exists.

Well, that about wraps it up. Thank you for stopping by. I gotta get back to work. (happy music)