You may find yourself wondering if it is even worth it to ask for workplace accommodations. Sometimes you worry if others will think you are "special". Other times you think your boss will consider it a hassle.
You hem and haw, waiting six more months. But it's hard when you don't have the energy. You may be out of sick time. Vacation time never gets used for the rest you really need. Dreaming about going part-time, you look at jobs that don't pay the bills. You feel stuck, out of options.
You're good at your job. Your boss counts on you, but you don't know how much longer you can count on yourself. You wonder if your condition "counts" as something legitimate. The point is that you might be able to do your job more consistently if something would give.
Whether you make informal arrangements with your boss or formally request accommodations on the job, it's an option for you to balance your work and health.
requesting ADA accommodations on the job
Deciding whether or not to request ADA accommodations on the job and reveal your disability is a personal decision. You may wish to talk with a mentor outside the job. First, explore what steps you can take to adjust your workplace yourself. There are many ways to get accommodations in the workplace.
Before you decide against requesting reasonable accommodations, you may wish to know that most cost an employer less than $500. The National Disability Rights Network explains how employment accommodations work:
Should you choose to ask for accommodations, be sure to have a plan in place. You can meet with your manager. Some employees prefer to request the accommodations through human resources. Read the employee manual. Follow through on your request.
Several websites are available from organizations that offer accessible employment resources. Even if you don't believe your condition is a disability, do you research on options or call us to talk about it.
the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and ADAA of 2008
The ADA or Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act of 2008 and Section 504 the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 provide for reasonable accommodations for the employee to be able to do the job.
The accommodation cannot cause an “undue burden” to the employer. Accommodations must also be “reasonable”. An undue burden may cost so much that the employer goes out of business. Employers are only required to give accommodations necessary for the employee to perform the essential functions of their job. Supervisors may consider what an employee prefers. Develop a plan for your request before you speak with your boss. The two websites below may help.
guidance for accommodations
The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) states that they are the "leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues". JAN provides example accommodations. It explains how a specific accommodation might work at your employer's site. Before you consult with your employer, look at the list of suggested accommodations on JAN. You can see a sample list for each condition.
JAN is not just for employers. Whether you are looking for a job, already employed or starting your own business, JAN has something for everyone.
The federal Office of Personnel Management may also help you. You can find examples of what is a "reasonable accommodation". The OPM provides links to guide you and your employer create you accommodations.
making a plan
If you would like to talk through your options with someone outside of your company confidentially, give us a call. Accessible Career can work with you to plan your next steps to make your job work for you.