You are a dedicated employee who has always shown up to work, even when feeling under the weather. After years on the job, you may eventually need your employer to repay you for that loyalty.
If you experience an adverse medical event like a stroke or suffer severe injuries in a car accident, the long-term medical consequences could impact your job performance. Thankfully, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) gives you the right to ask your employer for reasonable accommodations so that you can keep working (if there are at least 15 employees in your company). The injury does not have to stem from your job responsibilities for your employer to need to accommodate you.
What are reasonable accommodations?
The job you do, the industry in which you work and the size of the company that employs you will all influence what kind of accommodations are reasonable. The bigger the company, the greater the ability to accommodate you without it impacting the company’s operations or solvency.
Asking for physical alterations, like a wheelchair ramp or a wheelchair-accessible bathroom stall, is generally considered reasonable. The same is true of requests for assistive technology, altered job responsibilities or even remote work. Unfortunately, some companies will try to claim that even the most basic of accommodations are unreasonable and present an undue hardship to the business.
What if your employer is being unreasonable?
If your employer won’t accommodate you, you may have to fight back to keep your job and to stand up for your rights as someone with a disabling medical condition. Understanding your rights under employment law and federal disability laws can help you fight back when your employer unfairly discriminates against you because of your medical condition.