What is reasonable accommodation at your workplace?
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What is reasonable accommodation at your workplace?

On Behalf of | Mar 15, 2023 | Discrimination

Reasonable accommodation describes changes made to the work environment or to the way work is performed to enable employees with disabilities to perform their jobs to the best of their abilities. This term applies to all aspects of employment, including job application procedures, hiring, promotions, training and job assignments.

In California, employers with five or more employees are legally obligated to provide reasonable accommodation to physically or mentally disabled individuals. For instance, if you suffer an illness that affects your vision or hearing, your employer should try and make it easy for you to discharge your work duties by making the necessary changes.

Examples of reasonable accommodation

Anything that will make it easier to do your job despite the disability can be considered a reasonable accommodation. Some of the changes to the work environment may include:

  • Physical changes, such as installing a ramp or modifying the layout of your workspace
  • Using accessible and assistive technologies like screen readers or headphones 
  • Making communication accessible by using sign language interpreters, closed captioning at meetings or making materials available in braille
  • Changing job duties or work schedules to accommodate the affected employee

The list above is not near complete since it all depends on the unique needs of individual cases.

You have a right to reasonable accommodation

While it’s up to an employee to request a reasonable accommodation, employers must take proactive steps in addressing such requests. Ideally, your employer should initiate a timely interactive session in good faith to try and find ways of removing the barriers you face.

Do not leave your job if your employer retaliates against you or ignores your request for reasonable accommodation. Such actions by an employer are unlawful. Instead, seek appropriate legal guidance on the steps to take to protect your rights and interests.