How to Request a Reasonable Accommodation

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on August 08, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

If you have a disability, you may be wondering how to request a reasonable accommodation from your employer if one becomes necessary.

Because the Americans with Disabilities Act bars an employer from asking an employee about a visible or hidden disability, it is ultimately your responsibility to make the request and provide your employer with the requisite information.

Here's what you need to hand over and some things you should keep in mind when making your request.

While some companies have specific policies detailing how to request a reasonable accommodation, many don't.

If this is the case, you will likely need to provide written documentation from a medical provider that includes the following:

  • A diagnosis
  • An explanation of the disability's impact on your ability to do your job
  • Whether it's permanent or temporary
  • If temporary, how long it is expected to last
  • The nature of the accommodation request

Because you are asking for a reasonable accommodation, it is necessary for you to be reasonable about your request.

Employers don't have to grant requests that impose an undue hardship on their business. This generally means extraordinary costs and fundamental alterations of company policies.

Ask for only what you need and be open to alternative suggestions that work for both you and your employer. Also allow for a reasonable amount of time for the request to be processed and put into action.

If you still need more guidance relating to how to request a reasonable accommodation, ask your supervisor or human resources about what kind of information is needed. They must give you all relevant details.

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