You may know that you can ask for reasonable accommodations in the workplace if you have a disability. However, it is not easy for some to broach such a sensitive topic with employers, especially if they anticipate resistance.
In a perfect world, you would not need to worry about exercising your rights, but this world is far from perfect. Arming yourself with knowledge and evidence may help persuade your employer to comply with your request for reasonable disability accommodations.
1. Know your rights
Under federal law, employers may not refuse reasonable disability accommodation requests unless compliance would pose undue hardships, such as financial loss. In California, employees typically have even stronger protections. For example, our state’s definition and explanation of disability is broader than federal law.
That may prevent your employer from asserting that your disability is ineligible for reasonable accommodations.
2. Gather your evidence
One objection many employers raise is that the employee does not need any workplace modifications, especially when disabilities are not obvious. Of course, you can simply give them proof of your need if they object. A better approach may be to gather medical evidence in advance so you can include it with your accommodation request.
Providing such evidence early on may help persuade your boss to accommodate you, and could prevent undue delays.
3. Know when you need help
Discrimination is a complex area of employment law, and it is not uncommon for either party to not fully understand how it all works. If you face obstacles exercising your right to reasonable disability accommodations, consider taking your story to an employment law representative. They can help you determine what steps to take next with your case.