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Can you request an accommodation to sit at work?

| Mar 12, 2021 | Employment Law for Employees |

Certain jobs typically require you to remain standing for long periods at a time. However, you may have a physical disability that makes this difficult or impossible.

If you are otherwise able to do your job but unable to remain standing for the required amount of time, you may request that your employer make an accommodation allowing you to sit. However, you must meet certain requirements and follow specific procedures.

When can you request an accommodation?

According to Chron.com, you can request an accommodation from your employer if you have a disability that impairs at least one major life activity. For example, if your condition affects your ability to walk, work or sleep, you may be eligible for a workplace accommodation that allows you to sit at work where you would otherwise have to stand.

How do you request an accommodation?

You must make a formal request to your employer for an accommodation. You can make the request orally or submit it in writing.

What response can you expect?

As long as you are otherwise able to do the job, your employer must comply with any requests for a reasonable accommodation unless he or she can prove that doing so would impose an undue hardship. An undue hardship occurs when making the accommodation would cost your employer too much money.

If your disability is not self-evident or apparent, your employer may ask for medical certification of its existence before granting the accommodation. For example, chronic back pain often gives no outward sign, so your employer could ask you for certification from your doctor verifying it. However, if you rely on a mobility aid, such as a wheelchair or a walker, your disability would be self-evident, and it would be discriminatory of your employer to ask for certification of your disability.

Your employer may not provide exactly the accommodation you request. As long as it is effective, the law allows your employer to choose what accommodation to provide.