Requesting Reasonable Accommodation in New Jersey

Many people suffer from disabilities that make it challenging for them to go about their daily activities. Fortunately, in New Jersey and across the United States, a disability cannot prevent someone from getting a job as long as they are qualified. The law prevents employers from discriminating against disabled people during the hiring process. Additionally, after an individual with a disability is employed, they can request accommodations that are necessary to make it easier for them to perform their job duties. The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) not only prohibits employers from discriminating against disabled employees and job applicants but also imposes upon employers a duty to provide “reasonable accommodation” to disabled workers to allow them to do their jobs effectively. The only time an employer can deny an eligible employee’s request for reasonable accommodation is if accepting the request would impose an “undue hardship” on the employer. This article covers how to request reasonable accommodation in New Jersey.

How To Request Reasonable Accommodation in New Jersey

While disabled employees in New Jersey are entitled to reasonable accommodation, disabled employees are responsible for requesting accommodations. The process of requesting reasonable accommodation in New Jersey involves several steps. The following is a general guide on how to request reasonable accommodation in New Jersey;

#1: Identify the Need for Accommodation and the Accommodation You Need

The first thing you need to do is determine whether you are eligible for reasonable accommodation. If you meet the definition of someone with a disability under the NJLAD, you qualify for reasonable accommodation. In New Jersey, employers are required to provide eligible employees reasonable accommodations regardless of the employer’s size. You also need to identify which accommodation you need so that you can propose it to your employer. Examples of reasonable accommodations include flexible work hours, assistive technology, job restructuring, and a modified work environment.

#2: Inform Your Employer

After you have identified that you need accommodation and the accommodation you need, you need to make your employer aware of your disability and need for reasonable accommodation. You can do this verbally or in writing. However, it is recommended that you inform your employer in writing, such as through an email or a letter. Ensure you clearly explain your condition, why you need accommodation, and the accommodation you are requesting.

#3:  Provide the Necessary Information and Documentation

Once you have made your request, your employer may need you to provide more information or supporting documentation. Provide your employer with the necessary information and documentation. Your employer may deny your request if you don’t provide the required information or documentation. However, it is crucial to note that employers can only ask for ‘sufficient’ documentation and not excess. In other words, your employer is not allowed to ask for documentation that is outside the scope of the disability you are asking to be accommodated. 

#4: Engage in an Interactive Process

After the above steps, your employer is required to engage with you in an “interactive process” to find a solution that meets your needs and is reasonable for them. You should be open to negotiating with your employer. Remember, the goal is to find a solution that works for both you and your employer.

Contact The Trabosh Law Firm

If you need legal help, contact our qualified New Jersey employment lawyer at The Trabosh Law Firm.