How Do I Make My Employer Give Me an Accommodation?
Disabled workers in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are protected under both state and federal law from being discriminated against in the workplace. Federal law goes one step further by requiring employers to make “reasonable accommodations” for qualified disabled employees. If you are a disabled worker and you are having a difficult time getting an employer to provide you with the required accommodation you are likely wondering “How do I make my employer give me an accommodation?” Ultimately, you may need the assistance of an experienced Pennsylvania employment law attorney; however, a firm understanding of the law, and your rights under the law, is sometimes enough to convince an employer to comply.
At the federal level, the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, protects disabled workers from discrimination. The Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, or PHRA, does the same thing at the state level. For the purpose of knowing if you are covered by either law, the ADA considers you to be disabled if “you have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity.” You are also protected if you have a history of such a disability or if the employer believes you have such a disability. The ADA protects a worker from being discriminated against in the workplace if the worker is qualified to perform the job in question with or without reasonable accommodation.
Whether you are an applicant, or a current employee, requesting an accommodation can be a challenging and intimidating process. Although every situation is unique, consider the following tips that may help when requesting an accommodation:
- Make your request as soon as you realize there is a disability related barrier to performing your job or to applying for a position.
- State your request as simply as possible. You are not required to use medical terms or to invoke the ADA when requesting an accommodation.
- Follow up a verbal request with a written request.
- Do not ask for more of an accommodation than you need. An employer is not required to accommodate an employee if doing so will result in an “undue hardship.”
- Provide verification of your disability if requested.
- Attempt to negotiate with the employer is possible. If an initial request is denied, for example, offer an alternative if one is available.
- Appeal a denial to a supervisor or someone higher up the chain of command.
- Contact an experienced Pennsylvania employment law attorney if your employer continues to deny your request.
If you believe you have been discriminated against in the workplace because a prospective or current employer has denied your request for an accommodation, contact an experienced Conshohocken, Pennsylvania employment law attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options. Contact the employment law attorneys at Curley & Rothman, LLC by calling 610-834-8819 today to schedule your free consultation.