If you have a disability that makes is hard to get your job done, you may be entitled to receive some help from your employer so that you can get your job done.

There is a Federal law that requires employers to provide “job accommodations”. The Federal law applies only to companies with fifteen or more employees. However, a similar law in Virginia requires only six or more employees and the law in DC applies to all companies, even with only one employee.

If you are able to perform the essential functions of your job but you still need some help because of your disability, you can ask your employer to provide a reasonable accommodation for you at work.

What you ask for depends on how you are disabled and how your disability affects your ability to get your job done. The accommodation you seek must be closely tailored to fit your needs. You might find the suggestions at the nonprofit Job Accommodation Network to be helpful in figuring out the right accommodations to request.

To get a job accommodation, you will need to talk to your employer (or the HR Department – check your company’s policies), describe your disability, how it affects you at work, and what you think the company could do to make your doing your job easier despite your disability.

Your employer may ask that you have your doctor to provide information on the disability and how it affects you. And your employer may have a counterproposal for how to accommodate your disability. The two of you should talk about the best way to accommodate your disability at work. It may take some trial and error to find the accommodation that will make it possible for you to work better despite your disability.

If you have questions or need help negotiating with your employer about an accommodation, please call us. We are happy to help.

It is important to note that if your employer refuses to discuss with you ways of accommodating your disability, or if your employer takes any negative action against you when you let your employer know about your disability and ask for an accommodation, you should also talk to us. You may have a claim for disability discrimination under federal and state law.