Employee work accommodations

Employees with a disability may get accommodations so they can do their job effectively. A disability is a medical or psychological condition that seriously limits your activities. For an accommodation not related to a disability, talk to your supervisor.

Work accommodations could include:

  • Making your work space easier to access and use 
  • Changing your job duties
  • Changing your work schedule
  • Getting or changing equipment
  • Moving you to another position
  • Providing you readers or interpreters
  • Allowing time off for medical treatment

Work accommodations can be temporary or permanent.

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Make or respond to a request

Employees 

To request a work accommodation

  1. Complete the accommodation request form. Once you submit it, it goes to your supervisor. To discuss your request before submitting it, contact the HR leave and accommodation management office at hr.lam.office@hennepin.us. The LAM office might also ask you for a medical statement or signed medical release. Complete the work accommodation request form.
  2. If you haven’t heard from your supervisor within a week, contact the HR leave and accommodation management office.
  3. Discuss your request with your supervisor. During you and your discussion, you and your supervisor will discuss your request so they have a better understanding of your need.
  4. Your supervisor will approve or deny your request.
  5. If approved, create a plan with your supervisor to make the change. If denied and you’d like to discuss it, contact the HR leave and accommodation management office at hr.lam.office@hennepin.us.

Supervisors

To respond to a request for a work accommodation

  1. Have the employee fill out a work accommodations request form. You can also fill it out for them. If the employee turns in medical information, forward it to the HR leave and accommodation management office. If the employee is requesting time off from work, any medical information the employee shares with you should remain confidential. The employee may be eligible for Family Medical Leave. Learn more on the employee leave of absence page.
  2. Within one week of receiving the work accommodation request, meet with the employee to discuss their request:
    • Does the employee make clear the accommodation they've asked for? 
    • Does the employee's condition limit their functional ability?
    • Does the condition affect the employee at work? 
  3. Review the employee’s essential job functions. Determine how the employee’s disability affects their ability to do those job functions. This may not be clear without medical information. HR leave and accommodation management will assist with this step.  
  4. Work with the HR leave and accommodation management office to help identify a reasonable accommodation. For example, you may have questions about how the employee’s condition relates to the need for accommodation. The employee’s preference should come first. But you can choose a less costly or easier option if it’s equally effective.
  5. Decide whether to approve or deny the request:
    • If you approve the request, create a plan with the employee to make the needed change
    • If you decide to deny the request, contact the HR leave and accommodation management office before issuing the denial
  6. Complete the supervisor response form. You, the employee, and the HR leave and accommodation management office will get a copy.

Consulting services for a work accommodation request

All employees, including supervisors and managers, can get help from the HR leave and accommodation management office to:

  • Provide an overview of accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, legal options, medical resources and past practice for responding to certain requests
  • Clarify medical limitations with doctors or other providers
  • Research accommodation options by consulting with outside resources and service providers
  • Act as a "neutral third party" between employee and supervisor, especially with respect to highly confidential medical problems or when performance or discipline arises during accommodation review
  • Assist employees in generating accommodation options especially if the employee is addressing a new medical limitation
  • Act as "disability case manager" with complex cases involving disability plus performance concerns or chronic and changing medical conditions
  • Coordinate assistance to help an employee assess their benefit options in cases of medical leaves of absence or retirement for medical reasons
  • Advise supervisors on return-to-work questions related to family and medical leave and other medical leaves, and coordinate any new return-to-work accommodations
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