Career Resources

Reasonable Accommodations in the Workplace

When and how to request reasonable accommodations.

Most employers are “required to provide reasonable accommodation for individuals with a physical or mental disability to apply for jobs and to perform the essential functions of their jobs unless it would cause an undue hardship.” Source: CA Civil Rights Department  

“A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done during the hiring process. These modifications enable an individual with a disability to have an equal opportunity not only to get a job, but successfully perform their job tasks to the same extent as people without disabilities.” Source: Office of Disability Employment Policy 

Examples of workplace accommodations include physical changes, such as making sure there is enough space to navigate between desks for individuals with a physical disability; or, it may include other changes such as a flexible work schedule or working in a different location. 

If you have decided to request workplace accommodations, it’s recommended that you set up a meeting with the HR department or your supervisor. Seeking accommodations is meant to be an interactive process where you share information about your disability, needs, and accommodation requests. Then your supervisors or the HR department will take time to review this information, along with your job responsibilities, to determine an outcome. Plan to:

  • Come prepared for the discussion. Be ready to discuss your disability and how it impacts your work. Bring ideas and propose solutions for the types of accommodations that you are seeking. 
  • If requested, work with your doctor or another medical professional in order to obtain a Proof of Disability document or other documentation. 
  • Document your requests and your employer’s response. 

Your employer will decide if your accommodation request is approved or denied. It may take more than one discussion to come to a conclusion that works for both parties. If your request is denied, you may consider your next steps.

Additional resources: