If you work for a company with 15 or more employees and have a disability, you may qualify for accommodation under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).
Unfortunately, some employers resist an employee’s request. Did your employer retaliate against you for requesting a reasonable accommodation to make your workday easier?
Understanding reasonable accommodation
If you are a disabled worker, you have certain protections under federal laws such as the Americans With Disabilities Act. An example is the right to ask your employer for reasonable accommodation to make your work easier. You might need a desk with more room for your wheelchair. You might need time off for a medical procedure. In most cases, your employer should grant your request unless it causes the company “an undue hardship.” Requests for reasonable accommodation can be verbal and you do not need to mention the ADA. However, it is a good idea to commit the discussion to paper in case a dispute should arise.
Denying your request
There is no set amount of time to consider a request for accommodation, but your employer should respond promptly. If you have to make the request again and your boss has not responded within two months, lack of action could reasonably imply denial, which would violate ADA rules. Any kind of denial except for one involving an undue hardship would create issues. You should inform upper management, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or consider seeking legal guidance on the matter.
The need for legal guidance increases if your employer retaliates because of your request for reasonable accommodation. If you are facing an unwelcome change in your position, a demotion or even termination, and you believe retaliation is the reason, an advocate can address the issue on your behalf.