Employers are required to accommodate employees with special needs related to illness, disability and other conditions. Employers must accommodate such employees by ensuring the workplace is more accessible and suitable to them.
An employer’s failure to do so may mean non-compliance with the law or a violation of the employee’s human rights. A worker may be able to take legal action against an employer that violates their rights.
What comprises reasonable accommodation?
A reasonable accommodation is a change to the job or workplace that will allow the affected employee to discharge their duties. The duty to accommodate requires the employer to make reasonable efforts in ensuring the accessibility and suitability of the workplace in light of their employee’s condition.
Such requirements stop short of forcing the employer to experience excessive interference of business operations or situations where the employee cannot work despite the employer’s efforts to accommodate them.
How to request accommodation
It is the employee’s responsibility to request reasonable accommodation from their employer. However, the employer does not have to anticipate this need. In addition, employees do not have to put their requests in writing or use specific words when requesting accommodation. This is done to protect people who may be unaware of their legal rights.
However, it is essential to formalize your request by putting it in writing. It sets the accommodation process in motion and ensures that the employer takes you seriously and has sufficient information to research and settle on accommodation options. It will also serve as proof that you requested accommodation.
Protect your legal rights
If you are an employee with the condition that requires accommodation, it is crucial to safeguard your legal rights at the workplace. Your employer may be legally obligated to accommodate you, but it is well within your interests that you are aware of the steps to take if they fail to do so.