Why Changing Supervisors Is an Accommodation Under The ADA - Manneliasem
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Why Changing Supervisors Is an Accommodation Under The ADA

Reasonable Accommodations for Anxiety and Mental Disabilities

Is changing supervisors a reasonable accommodation? That is a fair question and one best suited for a workplace lawyer. Most employees that find themselves inquiring about new management suffer from mental disabilities like anxiety. But obtaining this type of accommodation is not straightforward. Any adjustments are dependent on the conditions of your employment, what you’ve endured, and your employer’s decision.

Reasonable Accommodation and Undue Hardship

Getting along with others at work is not always an easy process. Differences in opinion and lack of communication between supervisors can make it challenging to perform your job well. If you find the relationship is less than cooperative, you may want to discuss any worries with your employer. Health conditions brought on by adverse changes in the office include:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Other medical problems

Employees are entitled to reasonable accommodations through The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) if the policy covers their employer. In California, ADA applies to employers with a staff of 15 or more. The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) also protects those with disabilities of smaller companies with less than five.

The ADA defines disabilities as physical or mental impairments that can impair your ability to think, cause insomnia, and take a drastic toll on your health. Even if you’re receiving treatment for your condition, it is still considered a disability if it actively affects your work. The most prominent mental illness in the U.S. is an anxiety disorder. According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America (AADA), it affects over 40 million adults – increasing their chances of needing medical care or getting hospitalized.

Can I Ask for A Different Supervisor That Works Better with My Disability?

If your anxiety disorder or mental disability qualifies under ADA or FEHA, an employer cannot deny you an accommodation. Keep in mind that employers do not have to fulfill a specific request precisely. Instead of a change in management, the employer might:

  • Request the supervisor use a different method or approach when delivering assignments
  • Have routine check-ins to keep the line of communication open
  • Adjust the frequency of daily feedback and guidance
  • Provide training for sensitivity, diversity and inclusion
  • Implement strategies that address conflict
  • Ensure all employees have a safe space free from retaliation or discrimination
  • Establish short and long-term goals

Have an open and honest dialogue about what you need to perform the essential functions of your job. Unfortunately, the ADA does not permit you to tell an employer who to promote, how they should do their job, and how to run the business. If they are unwilling to comply or feel that it could bring on undue hardship, a disability discrimination lawyer for the workplace can ensure that your rights are protected.

Getting Started with The Process

The best way to request accommodations is by writing a reasonable accommodation letter. It avoids the risk of miscommunication from both parties and clarifies what you need per ADA guidelines. It also protects you, should you need to take legal action for the company’s inability to act. Make sure to include your name, position, detailed information on your disability, and suggestions. A doctor’s note will greatly support your case.

Remedies Available for Disability Discrimination 

There are several remedies available for disability discrimination victims. Each case is based on the specific losses of the employee. We will be able to retrieve front pay, back pay and get you reinstated (if you were wrongfully terminated). Additional compensation includes damages for the emotional toll, pain and suffering. There is, however, a cap for discrimination lawsuits:

  • Companies with 15-100 employees – $50,000
  • Companies with 101-200 employees – $100,000
  • Companies with 201-500 employees – $200,000
  • Companies with 500+ employees – $300,000

For more information on supervisor accommodation requests, you can reach out to our attorneys at Mann & Elias. It takes a legal expert to ensure you get the damages you’re entitled to.

About Mann & Elias 

The Law Offices of Mann & Elias is an employment law firm that provides guidance and legal support for individuals facing issues in the workplace. We represent clients at every level of the state and federal court systems. While there are thousands of lawyers to choose from, we strongly believe our success is based on:

  • 50+ years of trial experience
  • Excellent advocacy skills
  • Intense preparation and research
  • Quality care

When your case is in our hands, we hope to minimize stress and concerns associated with work. For dedicated representation with no upfront fees, give us a call at 323-866-9564 or email info@mannelias.com.


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