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Work How To Request And Negotiate An Accommodation At Work

Step 2. Pull Together Information To Support Your Request

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If you belong to a union, or have a contract with the employer

Look to the union contract or your own contract to see if there are any provisions about accommodations if needed to help you do your job.

Look at the federal and state law to determine if you are legally entitled to an accommodation.

If you are legally entitled to an accommodation, you can use the law as the basis for your negotiations. You can mention your legal entitlement if the moment seems appropriate. Knowing you have a legal right to something may also make it easier to negotiate for what you need.

If there is no legal entitlement to an accommodation, you will know to base your negotiation on finding a mutually advantageous solution.

To learn more, see: Am I Eligible For A Legally Required Accommodation At Work?, Americans With Disabilities -- The State Laws

Arm yourself with information to address any concerns that your employer might have regarding your ability to perform the essential functions of your job.

This could include statistics regarding the survival and/or cure rate for your particular diagnosis or statistical data relating to the productivity of other individuals with the same type of disability or diagnosis.

Find out whether there are other employees at your company with the same or similar health condition you have who have received an accommodation and successfully performed their job.


  • What accommodation did they receive?
  • With whom did they negotiate?
  • What were the negotiations like?
  • What did they tell the employer?
  • What was the employer concerned about?

If you don't know any such employees: some employers have support groups and/or mentor programs for individuals diagnosed with a particular illness, and even for individuals caring for others in their families. If your employer has programs such as these, you consider joining or at least learn who is in the group.

If you can't learn this information in your company, perhaps members of a support group, your social worker, a union representative, your local disease specific non-profit organization or health finance counselor can give you guidance.

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