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Everything You Need to Know: Federal Reasonable Accommodation

All federal agencies are required by law to provide reasonable accommodation to qualified employees with disabilities. If you are a disabled federal employee with mental or physical disabilities and require reasonable accommodations in the workplace, you need to be well informed about your rights. Our national federal employment law attorneys explain everything you need to know about federal reasonable accommodations.

If you need legal guidance through this process, our team at Pines Federal is here to help you. With over 60 years of collective experience, our federal employee attorneys possess a comprehensive understanding of state and federal laws to help you navigate through any legal complexities related to your case.

Contact our federal employment law attorneys today at (888) 898-9902 to schedule a consultation!

What Is Reasonable Accommodation?

Reasonable accommodations allow a person with disabilities to perform their job by having the employer make accommodations to either the hiring process, the job, the way the job is done, or the work environment. Accommodations are considered reasonable if they don't create a direct threat or hardship to any other workers. To qualify for a reasonable accommodation, the worker must have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

How Do I Request a Reasonable Accommodation?

If you want to request an accommodation, you or your attorney must let your employer know that you need an adjustment at work due to a medical condition. The request must explain why you are having trouble performing work due to a physical or mental disability. For example, if you use a wheelchair and it doesn't fit under your desk, you can request your employer to make the needed adjustments to solve this issue. If you need to request four weeks off for a back-problem treatment, this would also be considered a reasonable accommodation. Your reasonable accommodation request can be verbal and doesn't need to be in writing.

Once your employer receives your request for reasonable accommodation, they may ask you relevant questions that will enable them to make informed decisions about your request. In some cases, an employer may ask you for written documentation that explains the details of your reasonable accommodation request.

What Are Common Types of Reasonable Accommodation Requests?

Reasonable accommodations can be requested in a variety of forms. Below are the most common types of accommodations federal employers made after a request has been submitted:

  • Job restructuring: Federal disabled employees can request job restructuring as a reasonable accommodation. This may include reallocating or redistributing marginal job functions that an employee is unable to perform because of a disability. An employer can also adjust how or when a function is performed.
  • Leave: Employers can also permit the use of accrued paid leave or unpaid leave when needed by a federal employee's disability. Employers should allow an employee with a disability to exhaust accrued paid leave first and then provide unpaid leave.
  • Modified or Part-Time Schedule: A modified schedule may involve adjusting arrival or departure times, providing periodic breaks, altering when certain functions are performed, even if it does not provide such schedules for other employees.
  • Modified workspace: It is a reasonable accommodation to modify a workplace when requested by an individual's disability-related limitations.
  • Reassignment: A federal employee can request reassignment to a vacant position as a form of reasonable accommodation. This type of reasonable accommodation must be provided for an employee who can no longer perform the essential functions of their current position due to their disability.

If you need guidance requesting a reasonable accommodation or your employer hasn't been willing to make reasonable accommodations, or national federal employment law attorneys are here to help you. Contact our team today at (888) 898-9902 to schedule a consultation!