Maloney O'Laughlin PLLC fights for employees throughout Washington, from Seattle to Spokane.

Maloney O'Laughlin PLLC fights for employees throughout Washington, from Seattle to Spokane.

Your disability, the ADA and reasonable accommodation

On Behalf of | Apr 18, 2022 | Firm News

Perhaps you have a disability and use a wheelchair, which requires extra space in certain instances.

You are just starting a new job in the bookkeeping department of a local retailer. Your employer must provide you with reasonable accommodation under the ADA. What does this mean?

About the ADA

The American Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990, but many people are not familiar with it. The Act protects the rights of people with disabilities with respect to employment matters. Under the law, if you experience employment-related discrimination because of your disability, you can pursue legal action.

Reasonable accommodation

As an employee with a disability, you may require some sort of “reasonable accommodation.” This usually refers to a change in normal day-to-day operations in the workplace to allow you to perform your job. Accommodations can differ according to various medical conditions. In your case, this may mean a change in location so that you can avoid steps, or maybe a change from a smaller cubicle to one with more room for your wheelchair. It is your right to ask for a reasonable accommodation and it is your employer’s responsibility to consider your request and help determine how the company can best work with you to accomplish it.

Exception to the rule

Your employer should suggest an alternative arrangement if it is not possible to honor your original request. Keep in mind that the company is not obligated to provide you with reasonable accommodation if to do so would lower production or performance standards or result in significant expense. On the other hand, if your employer will not work with you or keeps postponing an answer to your request, you may want to pursue your own alternatives and seek legal guidance.