Reasonable Accommodation

Please read the Fort Leonard Wood Reasonable Accommodation Standard Operating Procedures. The document contains how the process works as well as the appropriate forms you’ll need to make a documented reasonable accommodation request.

Download the SOP  HERE

Reasonable Accommodation Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is a reasonable accommodation?

A reasonable accommodation is anything that allows an employee with a disability to do their job by removing any workplace barriers that hinder their ability to do the job. It’s important to note that the accommodation should not remove the essential functions of the job. That means that if you were hired to perform certain tasks that are essential to your position, asking for an accommodation that removes those tasks (or gives them to someone else) could result in denial of your request.

What kind of documentation do you need?

At a minimum you’ll need to have a doctor’s note detailing your disability (diagnosis), the prognosis (expected outcome or length), and recommendations for accommodation. Supervisors should document the request and the process used to determine an outcome (usually via MFR) and then notify the Disability Program Manager so the request can be logged. The FLW SOP provides detailed information and forms for both the requestor and supervisor. If you have any questions, please call the Disability Program manager @ (573) 596-0296 or (573) 596-0602.

If you need an accommodation, whom do you ask?

Typically you would make the request through your supervisor. Your supervisor should then decide to accept or decline the request after consulting with their resources and/or the Disability Program Manager at the EEO Office. If you feel that your request was denied unnecessarily, you  can call the Disability Program Manager to talk about your options.

Can my reasonable accommodation include being moved to a different position?

It can, however, the position you’re requesting must be open and you must be qualified for the position.

What constitutes a disability?

Anything that hinders your activities of daily life/work that is either documented by a physician or awarded by an agency (Social Security or Veteran's Affairs). Undocumented health issues usually won’t hold up if the accommodation is denied by your supervisor. Again, disabilities must be documented and your accommodation request must be associated with the disability.

What advice do you have for employees making the request?

Be sure to have proper documentation from a doctor or agency like Social Security or Veteran’s Affairs. Make sure that the documentation stipulates whether the disability is permanent or temporary. Make sure that the request is documented and followed up– management has 30 days to accept or deny a request... and if there’s no documentation the process can become a legal issue. Be sure that the request isn’t an attempt to get out of work. Reasonable Accommodation exists so that people with disabilities CAN work. Remember, lack of medical documentation can result in a plausible denial of the request by your supervisor.

What advice do you have for supervisors?

Supervisors should consult their HR and EEO resources before making a decision to ensure that they’re following the guidelines set by the American’s with Disabilities Act. Supervisors should also document the request process by using simple counseling forms or memorandums. They should also keep the requester informed at all times and remember that the accommodation process is collaborative. Supervisors should NEVER share medical information with anyone outside of the decision making process. Supervisors are not allowed to ask for more documentation or probe the requestor for personal information. The only thing they need is a doctor’s diagnosis and prognosis– nothing more. Remember, if management denies a request it must be staffed through the Staff Judge Advocate.

Religious Discrimination & Reasonable Accommodation

The law requires an employer or other covered entity to reasonably accommodate an employee's religious beliefs or practices, unless doing so would cause more than a minimal burden on the operations of the employer's business. This means an employer may be required to make reasonable adjustments to the work environment that will allow an employee to practice his or her religion.

 

Examples of some common religious accommodations include flexible scheduling, voluntary shift substitutions or swaps, job reassignments, and modifications to workplace policies or practices.

Religious Accommodation/Dress & Grooming Policies

Unless it would be an undue hardship on the employer's operation of its business, an employer must reasonably accommodate an employee's religious beliefs or practices. This applies not only to schedule changes or leave for religious observances, but also to such things as dress or grooming practices that an employee has for religious reasons. These might include, for example, wearing particular head coverings or other religious dress (such as a Jewish yarmulke or a Muslim headscarf), or wearing certain hairstyles or facial hair (such as Rastafarian dreadlocks or Sikh uncut hair and beard). It also includes an employee's observance of a religious prohibition against wearing certain garments (such as pants or miniskirts).

 

When an employee or applicant needs a dress or grooming accommodation for religious reasons, he should notify the employer that he needs such an accommodation for religious reasons. If the employer reasonably needs more information, the employer and the employee should engage in an interactive process to discuss the request. If it would not pose an undue hardship, the employer must grant the accommodation.

Religious Discrimination & Reasonable Accommodation & Undue Hardship

An employer does not have to accommodate an employee's religious beliefs or practices if doing so would cause undue hardship to the employer. An accommodation may cause undue hardship if it is costly, compromises workplace safety, decreases workplace efficiency, infringes on the rights of other employees, or requires other employees to do more than their share of potentially hazardous or burdensome work.

Religious Discrimination And Employment Policies/Practices

An employee cannot be forced to participate (or not participate) in a religious activity as a condition of employment.