What to do if I’m having trouble at work because I have doctor diagnosed ADD and have asked for accomodations from my employer?

UPDATED: Dec 18, 2012

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What to do if I’m having trouble at work because I have doctor diagnosed ADD and have asked for accomodations from my employer?

They responded quickly to my request, but only took a wait and see approach. I have asked again for help; I feel they may soon fire me because of this. What should I do?

Asked on December 18, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The first problem is, it is not clear what "reasonable accomodation" can be made for ADD. An employer is only obligated to make a "reasonable" accomodation, which is the provision of assistive technology or a change in how the job is done which is not too expensive or disruptive, is effective in helping the employee, and which allows the employee to then do his/her job. Examples include providing voice recognition software or magnifying computer screens for visually impaired employees; allowing a cashier who has trouble standing for an extended time to have a stool to sit on. However, if with ADD you simply have trouble focusing or remaining on task and therefore getting your job done, it's not clear what can be done to help you. The employer would NOT be required to simply let you do less work, or miss deadlines, or turn in lower-quality work; there must be something it can reasonably do which would let you get your job properly done. If not, the employer had no obligations in this regard.

Second, if your problems or trouble are basically unrelated to ADD--for example, you have been excessively late or had unauthorized absences, or have been insubordinate to managers--then the fact that you have ADD does not prevent them from taking action, up to and including termination.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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