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Can you ask your employer for support if you have a disability?

On Behalf of | Oct 15, 2020 | Employment Law

Maybe you’ve been with the company for some time but your job responsibilities are about to change. You think they will present a challenge to you because of a medical condition that you have. Perhaps it’s a new job and you only just realized the exact demands of the position. You might even have had a recent accident that changed your physical capabilities and left you with a lasting injury or disability. 

If you have a persistent medical condition that qualifies as a disability, you may have the right to ask your employer for certain accommodations that allow you to keep performing your job. When can you ask your employer to work with you to make the job work for you?

The size of the company is a major qualifying factor

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) specifically requires that employers provide reasonable accommodations as necessary for workers with disabilities. That means that if your employer has 15 or more workers, they are likely subject to the requirements of the ADA.

What kinds of accommodations can you request?

The nature of your condition and the type of job you would perform will inform what kind of accommodations may be necessary for you to do the work. 

In some cases, alternating job responsibilities so that you can rest certain body parts is the only real need. Other times, you may need a ramp or assistive technology to make equipment or machinery easy for you to use. Some other times, a change of job responsibilities or transfer to a different position altogether may be necessary. 

Provided that the accommodation you request is reasonable and does not present a hardship for your employer, they should agree to work with you. If your employer refuses to accommodate you or otherwise punishes you for requesting accommodation because of a disability, you may need to take legal action against the company, which might include filing a discrimination lawsuit if they don’t rectify the issue.