If you have a medical condition, you have rights to help you manage it in the workplace. Your employer cannot, by law, discriminate against you because of your condition.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
- You have a right to speak up.
- You have a right to privacy.
- You have a right to report discrimination without punishment.
Help your healthcare team understand your needs
Your healthcare team can help you take care of yourself properly at work. Talk with your doctor about what it’s like at work. What do you need there to make it easier to manage your condition? Ask your doctor to write a letter explaining your needs at work. This will help your employer better understand your requests.
If your workplace or work position is not set up to meet your needs, speak up. Here are some tips on requesting accommodations:
Read your employee handbook. Your employer may already have a procedure in place for requesting accommodations.
Be direct. Explain exactly what accommodations you need. Tell your employer why you need them in order to do your job effectively.
Request written documentation. Ask your health care provider to write a letter describing your condition. Make sure they include exactly what you need to manage it at work.
Keep records. Keep detailed records of any communication you have with your employer. Make copies of all emails and written interaction. Save date- and time-stamped notes of any conversations.
Inform. Educate your employer about the American with Disabilities act. Many are just unaware and happy to accommodate your needs once they know.
Be flexible. Some accommodations just may not work with your position. Be willing to compromise as long as you are still able to manage your condition.
Try it out. Suggest a period of time where you can both get used to the changes. If something is not working out, regroup and discuss how things could be improved.