Five reasons why you should consult with an attorney before requesting an accommodation

On Behalf of | Jul 8, 2022 | Employment Law |

Requesting an accommodation can be challenging; especially in situations where the employee and employer are not on the same page. Below are five reasons why consulting with an attorney about your accommodation request will help level the playing field and increase your chances of getting an appropriate accommodation.

1. An attorney can help you determine whether you are eligible to seek an accommodation.

In order to seek an accommodation, an employee must establish that they have a medical condition that qualifies as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). An employee must also establish that they can continue to perform the essential functions of their job with or without a reasonable accommodation.

The attorneys at Olds George Law LLC can help you determine whether these two factors are satisfied, so that you can successfully request an accommodation.

2. An attorney can assist you in determining what accommodation best suit your needs.

Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations, unless doing so would result in significant difficulty or expense. Therefore, an accommodation can take many forms, including the following:

a. Seeking a part-time or modified work schedule (adjusting arrival or departure times or providing periodic breaks),
b. Acquiring or modifying equipment in the workplace,
c. Requesting unpaid leave,
d. Reassignment to another position, and
e. Minor job restructuring, which might include things such as reallocating marginal job functions to other employees or altering when  or how a job function is performed.

The attorneys at Olds George Law LLC are skilled at determining what accommodations may best suit your particular needs and allow you to maintain your employment.

3. An attorney can help protect your right to privacy as you engage in the interactive process with your employer.

After you make an accommodation request, your employer may attempt to make intrusive inquiries into your medical history, and seek information that is not related to evaluating your accommodation request.

The attorneys at Olds George Law LLC are experienced in protecting their clients’ right to privacy by evaluating the reasonableness of the employer’s inquiries, and insuring the information their clients provide adequately addresses the need for an accommodation.

4. An attorney can help you weigh your options as you progress through the interactive process of seeking an accommodation.

Even after you establish the existence of a disability and the need for an accommodation, you may still get pushback from your employer. For example, your employer may reject the specific accommodation you seek, and propose an alternative accommodation.

The attorneys at Olds George Law LLC can help you evaluate whether the employer’s proposal will effectively meet your needs, and if not, facilitate negotiations towards an appropriate resolution.

5. An attorney can help you avoid the pitfalls of over-stating the need for an accommodation.

If you are representing yourself, you may unwittingly provide your employer with information that is harmful to your ongoing employment.

For example, if you overstate your need for an accommodation, you may inadvertently provide your employer with information indicating that you are no longer able to perform the essential functions of your job, which in turn, could result in your termination.

Because there are risks associated with seeking an accommodation, employees should seek advice from competent legal counsel. The attorneys at Olds George Law LLC are here to help you increase your chances of securing an accommodation. Call us today to learn more. 412-492-8975

Share This