I have a disability that's affecting my work...what should I do?
1. If at all possible, seek legal assistance. There are laws that protect workers based on their disabilities, but the laws can be complicated. To find a law firm, call the Boston Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service (617-742-0625) or the Massachusetts Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service (617-654-0400).
2. For detailed information about disability discrimination (including your rights and obligations) under Massachusetts law, click here. For detailed information about disability discrimination under federal law, click here. 3. You don't have to do anything. BUT, if your disability is affecting your performance and your employer doesn't know that you have a disability that's affecting your performance, the employer generally has the right to fire you based on any performance problems.
4. If you want your employer to provide what the law calls "reasonable accommodations," (that is, changes in your work environment, a modified schedule, modified duties, etc.) you should notify your employer (it's usually best to contact your human resources department) of your need for accommodations. You don't have to share all information about your disability, but you'll have to provide enough information for the employer to know what types of accommodations might allow you to do your job. The Job Accommodation Network provides guidance on disability accommodations.
5. Keep good records of any communications you have with your employer. Put your requests in writing (or use e-mail) and keep notes about any conversations.
6. If your employer refuses to work with you to provide accommodations, or simply refuses to provide accommodations, call the Fair Employment Project (617-902-0192) to discuss your options.
Fair Employment Project, Inc. | 777 Concord Avenue, Suite 302 | Cambridge, MA 02138 | 617.902.0192 | firstname.lastname@example.org