The bias against employees with disabilities prevents them from receiving the same employment benefits and opportunities as everyone else, but it shouldn’t. Disabilities do not adversely affect the productivity of a company. In fact, companies that have a higher disability inclusion seem to be more profitable than their peers.
People with disabilities are just as competent and skilled as the general population. They are just as capable of performing challenging tasks as any other individual without a disability. The problem is that employers are not creating workplace environments that are inclusive enough.
The right to request for reasonable accommodations
When an employee has a disability, they have a right to ask their employer to provide them with reasonable accommodations. A reasonable accommodation enables an employee to perform the fundamental duties of their position by modifying the work environment. Simply put, the employer will need to make some adjustments to accommodate the employee’s disabilities.
Most workplace accommodations are not even that expensive, and the long-term benefits often outweigh the costs. It could be a more flexible schedule or additional training. Responsible leaders should not allow preconceived notions about disabilities to exclude an entire talent pool of highly qualified people.
What if an employer denies the request?
An employer can only deny a request if it causes undue burden to them or the company, but it is not exactly a concrete standard. They must review the employee’s request with an open mind and give a valid reason for the denial. Otherwise, a denial could be a form of discrimination.
An employer should also never retaliate against an employee for making a request. They must not fire or demote their employee just for asking for some additional assistance.