What does an interactive good-faith process look like?

You have rights under the law to request accommodations at work if you need them due to a disability. Your employer must do what it can to provide those accommodations for you. However, the law does allow an employer to deny a request if it is not reasonable. It can be tricky to know if your request is reasonable, which is why the law also requires the employer to take a good-faith interactive process to approaching your request.

This interactive good-faith process includes an investigation into your needs and the limitations you may have. It also addresses how the employer may meet your needs through reasonable accommodations.

Reasonable accommodations

Reasonable is a term that can be subjective. It may include a variety of things when it comes to accommodations. For example, you may request a change in your work schedule or job duties. Your employer may assist you through changing your work area or providing different aids to assist you in doing your job duties.

In general, it is often a doable accommodation that will not cause hardship for your employer. If you need an accommodation that would be excessively expensive or that would cause issues with the general operation of the business, then the employer may be able to deny it. However, the interactive process should help avoid such issues and find a solution that is reasonable, even if it is not what you originally wanted.

Getting the process started

The interactive process must begin when your employer becomes aware that you need accommodations. This could be because you make a request, but it also may be as simple as your employer observing you having difficulties doing your job duties.

Your employer must look into your situation, which may require you to provide documentation and information. You should comply completely with your employer to get the most from the process. You both must be open to discussing the situation and reaching an agreeable solution.

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