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

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 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.


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