We Protect Workers

Reasonable accommodations: What should you expect?

If you’re unwell or have a disability, then it’s important for your employer to provide you with reasonable accommodations. Reasonable accommodations can apply either to how your job is performed or to the duties you’re asked to perform.

For example, if you come to work with a broken leg, then it wouldn’t be reasonable for your employer to ask you to stand for the whole shift, even if it’s normal to do so. Instead, if they can offer you a reasonable accommodation, like a stool or chair, then that would be the right thing for them to do. Keep in mind that they may have to change your duties if offering that accommodation would create a hazard for others.

Who gets to ask for reasonable accommodations?

Reasonable accommodations need to be offered to anyone who applies for a job or works in a job but needs accommodations based on a disability or illness. There is an exception for employers who cannot accommodate those needs due to the hazard it would create for others or because accommodating the individual would create undue hardship.

As an employee who needs an accommodation, it is necessary for you to know that you do have to let your employer know that you need one. You also have to explain what you need. Remember, the accommodation has to be plausible or feasible for your employer to implement.

What happens if you’re terminated because of the accommodations you need?

If you’re terminated because you ask for an accommodation, you may have a case against your employer. Our site has more information about reasonable accommodations and what you should expect as a disabled or injured worker.