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Seeking reasonable disability accommodations at your workplace

If you have a disability, your employer must make reasonable accommodations to help you do your job successfully. The Americans with Disabilities Act (or “ADA”) and California state laws cover your right to reasonable accommodations and when you have legal recourse if you are denied this type of request.

Asking for accommodations

If a mental or physical disability makes aspects of work difficult for you, under California law, you are eligible for reasonable accommodations if you work for a company that has five or more employees. You should make your request in writing to your supervisor and your company’s human resources department, if applicable. (The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing provides a sample Request packet, which may be found here.)

Your employer must respond to a request for reasonable accommodations with an interactive process, where they discuss and explore available options with you. Your employer’s response must be prompt, and they must act in good faith and make every effort to provide the requested accommodation, provided it does not create an excessive expense or other undue business hardship.

Types of available accommodations

California does not limit the types of accommodations for which you may be eligible, as long as those resources, tools or arrangements will help you perform your job duties effectively. Common examples of reasonable accommodations include flexible work arrangements, ramps or other changes to the physical work environment, adaptive and assistive technologies, electrical or mechanical devices, leave for medical appointments, revised job duties, and accessible manuals and training materials.

Failure to provide reasonable accommodations may constitute workplace disability discrimination. You may have grounds to file a discrimination complaint if your company denies your request without reason, delays a decision, or otherwise acts in bad faith.


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