Under the law, they must provide you with a reasonable accommodation unless to do so would cause an undue hardship on them. A reasonable accommodation must be granted when such an accommodation can grant equal access to you to perform the essential functions of the job or to gain access to the workplace. A reasonable accommodation is any change in the workplace or the way things are customarily done that provides an equal employment opportunity to an individual with a disability. While there are some things that are not considered reasonable accommodations (e.g., removal of an essential job function or personal use items such as a hearing aid that is needed on and off the job), reasonable accommodations can cover most things that enable an individual to apply for a job, perform a job, or have equal access to the workplace and employee benefits such as kitchens, parking lots, and office events.Under the EEOC guidelines, common types of accommodations include:• modifying work schedules or supervisory methods• granting breaks or providing leave• altering how or when job duties are performed• removing and/or substituting a marginal function• moving to different office space• providing telework beyond that provided by the collective bargaining agreement or the relevant MOU.• making changes in workplace policies• providing assistive technology, including information technology and communications equipment or specially designed furniture• providing a reader or other staff assistant to enable employees to perform their job functions, where the accommodation cannot be provided by current staff (See Appendix E for information on hiring staff assistants.)• removing an architectural barrier, including reconfiguring work spaces• providing accessible parking• providing materials in alternative formats (e.g., Braille, large print)• providing a reassignment to another job.The time frame for processing a request (including providing accommodation, if approved) is as soon as possible but no later than 30 business days from the date the request is made. This 30-day period includes the 10-day time frame in which the DPM must contact the requestor after a request for reasonable accommodation is made. (Section II.C.1.)So, if you are not looking to be transferred, then you are not required to fill out the reasonable accommodation paperwork. It exists to protect you and allow them to legally move you to a different department without opening themselves up to a retaliation lawsuit because they moved you as a result of your complaint. However, if you would like to be transferred, then it may be in your best interest to fill out the paperwork. The likelihood of them transferring all of the other women is slim. As for giving up your rights, the thing you have to watch out for, is that if you request a reasonable accommodation, you have to still be able to perform “the essential functions of your job.” So, whatever accommodation you request cannot restrict you from doing those things. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.
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