Federal Employees – ADA Reasonable Accommodation Overview

Posted by Matthew Moosbrugger | Jun 14, 2021 | 0 Comments

A reasonable accommodation is a change or adjustment made to an employee's job or work environment that allows a qualified individual with a disability to perform their job adequately. A qualified individual with a disability is a person who meets or exceeds the skill, experience, education, or other requirements for a position that they are applying for or already have, and can perform the "essential functions" of that position with or without reasonable accommodation.

Examples of reasonable accommodations can include changes to your working environment such as dimming the lights in your work area, installing wheelchair access or other accessibility features, or providing a screen reader to be used by an employee with vision impairment. Reasonable accommodations can also be changes to your job, such as a modified work schedule, allowing an employee to telework, or modifying any other workplace policy to accommodate the employee.

The first thing you should do if you want to request reasonable accommodation is to engage in the “interactive process” which is essentially a conversation with your employer about your request. It does not have to be in writing (although you should absolutely make the request in writing, preferably email, and keep a copy of your request) and you do not have to use any magic words like ADA or Reasonable Accommodation when making your request. Your employer should review the accommodation request and may obtain a written medical release from you. They may also ask you to provide appropriate documentation from your health care provider or even ask to speak with your health care provider.

Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Federal employees are entitled to request a reasonable accommodation from their federal agency if they have a qualifying disability. Unfortunately, supervisors and managers at various agencies refuse valid requests for reasonable accommodations. When an Agency refuses your valid request for reasonable accommodation, you're entitled to challenge that decision. To successfully challenge that decision, you will need to work with an experienced EEO attorney who can bring your claim before the appropriate administrative body and get you the relief you're entitled to.

If you need assistance seeking a reasonable accommodation or believe you have been unlawfully denied a reasonable accommodation you're entitled to, please contact us to schedule a free consultation.

About the Author

Matthew Moosbrugger

Matthew is an Arizona based employment attorney who specializes in civil litigation and civil rights employment law matters. Matthew is a strong advocate for his clients in all matters and regularly represents clients in civil litigation matters such as contract disputes, business litigation, and real estate matters, in addition to employment discrimination and workplace harassment cases.


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