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Am I Entitled to Reasonable Accommodation for a Disability?

 Posted on October 29, 2020 in Civil Service Employment and Job Defense

New York City employee defense attorneyAccording to the New York Human Rights Law, an employee cannot be discriminated against for a physical or mental disability, and employers have a duty to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities whenever possible. That said, what is considered a reasonable accommodation can vary depending on the situation. If you believe you are entitled to an accommodation that your employer is not providing, or if you are facing a medical separation because of a disability, an employment attorney can help you understand your rights and take legal action to secure them.

Who Can Request Reasonable Accommodations in New York?

As long as you are qualified for the position you hold or hope to obtain, and you are capable of performing the essential job responsibilities, you have the right to request reasonable accommodations for a disability so that you can complete your work tasks.

In this context, New York law defines a disability as any physical, mental, or medical impairment that affects bodily functions or can be demonstrated by accepted medical techniques. This can include both temporary and permanent conditions, and it may include alcohol or drug addiction if you are in recovery and not currently using illegal drugs. Since 2016, pregnancy-related conditions can also be a justification for reasonable accommodations.

What is Considered a Reasonable Accommodation?

Reasonable accommodations can take many forms, including measures to improve the accessibility of work facilities, equipment that aids in the completion of job tasks, assistive technology, readers, interpreters, and altered work schedules. However, there are a few caveats:

  • Reasonable accommodations may not be granted for disabilities that do not impede the essential functions of your position.

  • Personal care accommodations, such as an assistant, hearing aid, or wheelchair, are not included under your employer’s responsibilities.

  • Accommodations are not considered reasonable if they cause your employer or other employees undue hardship, either related to financial costs or other difficulties.

You should also note that in order to receive accommodations, you must request them from your employer, and you may be required to share medical information that demonstrates your disability. If you need guidance on the process of requesting accommodations, or if you feel that your employer is not fulfilling their duty to provide reasonable accommodations, your attorney can help.

Contact a New York Employment Defense Attorney

At The Law Firm of Gregory J. Watford, Esq., PLLC, we protect the rights of civil service employees, including in cases involving disabilities and medical separation. We will work to ensure that your employer is treating you fairly and in accordance with state law. Contact a New York City civil service job defense lawyer at 646-580-6675.



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