Interactive Process for Requesting Accommodations for your Disability

Interactive Process for Requesting Accommodations for your Disability

When an employee with disabilities communicates the need for reasonable accommodations, the employer must engage in the interactive process to find a solution that is favorable for both parties. There are many types of disabilities, and not all disabilities are clearly visible; however, a disability need not be visible to qualify for protections under the law. You can learn more about disabilities that qualify for protection here.

The interactive process refers to the process by which an employee who has a disability or impairment requests accommodations from their employer. After a request, an employer is then required to engage in an interactive dialogue with the employee to discuss potential reasonable accommodations. If an agreement is reached, the employer must implement the agreed-upon accommodations.

As part of the interactive process, each of the parties shares information about the nature of the disability and the limitations that may affect the employee’s ability to perform his or her job duties. Employers must consider any reasonable accommodations that may be necessary to allow the employee to perform his or her job duties. You can learn more about reasonable accommodations here.

Generally, interactive processes are required after the employer is aware that the employee may have some limitations resulting from a condition that could be classified as a disability. Accommodations can be made to allow the employee to perform their duties despite the disability, and interactive processes are a way for employers to discuss potential solutions with the employee. This helps to ensure that the employee can perform their job effectively and that their rights are protected.

Employers must be aware of any potential discrimination laws that may be violated if they fail to engage in the interactive process. It is a legal requirement that communications during the interactive process be made in good faith.

Failing to engage in good faith communications during the interactive process is also disability discrimination. You can learn more about disability discrimination here.

At TONG LAW, we represent employees in interactive process disputes.

Author Bio

Vincent Tong

Vincent Tong is the CEO and Managing Partner of TONG LAW, a business and employment law firm located in Oakland, CA. Vincent is a fierce advocate for employees facing discrimination and wrongful termination. With several successful jury trial victories and favorable settlements, he has earned a strong reputation for delivering exceptional results for his clients.

In addition, Vincent provides invaluable counsel to businesses, guiding them on critical matters such as formation and governance, regulatory compliance, and protection of intellectual property assets. His depth of experience allows him to anticipate risks, devise strategies to avoid legal pitfalls, and empower clients to pursue their goals confidently.

Vincent currently serves as the 2021 President of the Board of Directors for the Alameda County Bar Association and sits on the Executive Board for the California Employment Lawyers Association. Recognized for outstanding skills and client dedication, he has consecutively earned the Super Lawyers’ Rising Star honor since 2015, reserved for the top 2.5% of attorneys. He also received the Distinguished Service Award for New Attorney from the Alameda County Bar Association in 2016. He is licensed to practice before all California state courts and the United States District Court for the Northern and Central Districts of California.

LinkedIn | State Bar Association | Super Lawyers | Google