Am I required to provide a doctor’s note to my employer?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Am I required to provide a doctor’s note to my employer?

I work as a corporate training specialist. My employer is requiring me to conduct presentation without use of notes. I have medical issues that adversely impact my memory and concentration and unable to perform effectively without notes. My job description does not mention any specifics on how presentations must be conducted. My employer is asking that I produce a doctor’s note to prove that I need this accommodation. I read that disability accommodations are for when a person cannot perform essential job functions without accommodation. I don’t think the use of notes or not using notes is essential as it’s not mentioned in my job description – not even indirectly. Is my employer making a reasonable request or am I being harassed?

Asked on September 9, 2016 under Employment Labor Law


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Generally, it's the employer that determines whether a job function is essential or not, so if the employer believes that being able to do presentations without notes is an important part of your job, then it's an importantpart of your job.
Moreover, for *any* change in how the job is done to accommodate a medical condition or disability, you need to be able to prove or verify you have a disability or need for the accommodation--the employer does not need to just take your word for this. So it is a legitimate request.

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