Skip to Content
Request Your Consultation 212-295-5828

What to Do When Employer Denies Request for Reasonable Accommodation


Disabilities, including physical and mental disabilities, are one of the various protected classes in the United States. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), discriminating against employees with disabilities is unlawful. Additionally, employees with disabilities are entitled to reasonable accommodation in the workplace that allows them to have equal opportunities for employment.

If you have a disability that makes it difficult to perform your job duties, you would hope that requesting a reasonable accommodation helps you overcome these obstacles. However, when your employer denies your request, you might not know what you can do. Brown Kwon & Lam can help you understand what to do next and protect the rights you’re entitled to as an employee with a disability.

How Do You Request a Reasonable Accommodation?

If you’ve yet to request your reasonable accommodation and want to ensure that you’re taking the proper steps, you may be wondering how you’re supposed to request this. This can vary from workplace to workplace. Some workplaces have processes and forms in place for employees to officially request an accommodation.

When you request a reasonable accommodation, you must tell your employer that you need it due to a medical condition. According to the ADA, you do not need to use the specific term “reasonable accommodation” when you make your request.

The ADA does not require that employees make requests for reasonable accommodations in writing. However, it’s best that you have documentation of this request for future use.

Are Employers Allowed to Deny Requests for Reasonable Accommodations?

An employee requesting an accommodation for medical reasons does not always mean that the employer must provide the accommodation. Employers can deny a request if it would cause them undue hardship. Accommodations could be considered to cause undue hardship if they require significant difficulty or expense. What accommodations can cause undue hardship can vary depending on an employer’s size, resources, nature, and structure of operation.

Actions to Take When Your Request is Denied

Ask for an Explanation

If your request is denied, you need to ask your employer why they denied it. You also want documentation that you requested this information and of their response. There could be an explanation as to why your request was denied that doesn’t mean your employer violated your ADA rights.

If the accommodation you requested would cause your employer undue hardship, you may need to work together to determine an alternative that would be in their means to provide. You may also need to provide additional information so that your employer knows you have a disability covered by the ADA.

Consult with an Attorney

While denying a request for a reasonable accommodation doesn’t always mean an employer has acted unlawfully, there are times when this may be the case. If you believe your employer has violated your rights by denying your request, the best thing to do is consult with a disability discrimination attorney. An experienced attorney can help determine if you had a valid request that was wrongfully denied and explain what your options are.

New York City Disability Discrimination Attorneys

You deserve the opportunity to perform your job successfully, and a reasonable accommodation can help make this possible. When your valid request is wrongfully denied, you may feel like there’s no way for you to maintain your job due to your disability. Employees with disabilities may face many obstacles in the workplace due to employers who do not respect their rights, but Brown Kwon & Lam can help.

Our disability discrimination attorneys have experience working with employees throughout New York City. 

Contact us today to discuss your situation.