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Reasonable accommodation requests and older disabled workers

Among the rights federal law gives individuals with disabilities is the right to reasonable accommodations in their workplace. One would hope that disabled workers would always feel free to request reasonable accommodations when the need for such accommodations arises for them in connection to their work. Sadly, however, things can sometimes arise that can make workers afraid to make such requests.

A recent study revealed one reasonable accommodation request fear that might be particularly common among older workers with disabilities. The study looked at a survey of adult workers who had developed hearing loss when they were a kid. The study indicated that the older workers in this group were particularly likely to be afraid that requesting a reasonable accommodation for their impairment would create problems for them by causing them to be perceived as old.

What sorts of things do you think employers here in Texas should be doing to try to reduce this type of fear among older disabled workers?

Among the things it is crucial for older disabled workers to be aware of is that federal law not only prohibits workplace disability discrimination, but also age discrimination in the workplace. Another key thing to know is that there are also generally legal options available for workers who have been retaliated against or treated negatively for taking efforts to assert their rights under federal anti-employment-discrimination laws, including the right to reasonable accommodations for a disability. Disabled workers (whether they be young or old) who believe their employer has responded in a wrongful/inappropriate manner to a reasonable accommodation request they made should consider promptly having a skilled employment law attorney go over their options and rights with them.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Would You Ask For Accommodations At Work?,” Katherine Bouton, June 13, 2016

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