As a person with ADHD, you may request reasonable accommodations at work. However, there are certain restrictions to understand first.
The Americans with Disabilities Act applies to private employers who have 15+ employees. If you’re working for someone who doesn’t meet this requirement, then you can’t legally enforce your right to reasonable accommodations. However, you may certainly inform them of your ADHD and request a slight adjustment to how you work. Many people are willing to allow an accommodation if you approach them in a respectful way and show a willingness to work hard.
Members of the executive branch
The ADA doesn’t cover members of the armed forces or other employees of the executive branch. However, they have similar protections in The Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
Proof of your disability
Employment law permits employers to ask to see proof of your disability and the need to accommodate it, which must come in the form of a doctor’s note and the relevant medical records. You don’t need to disclose your full medical records. The federal law protects your right to keeping irrelevant parts of your medical history private.
What makes an accommodation reasonable?
Accommodating you must not cause undue hardship on the employer. If a small business can’t afford to fulfill your request, then the law can’t enforce ADA protections. Examples of what are usually reasonable accommodations:
- Providing a quiet workspace
- Allowing assistive technology, such as timers and apps
- Restructuring the job
- Offering a vacant position
- Reducing marginal work to let you focus on what matters most
You may need to find middle ground with your employer. They might not be able to give you a private, quiet office. However, they can allow you to wear noise-cancelling ear buds to help with noise problems. Another possible solution is remote work, assuming that you can fulfill your responsibilities from home or your own office space. You may want to remind yourself to go into the discussion with an open mind to possibilities you didn’t initially consider.
Reasonable accommodations don’t cause undue hardship on the business, such as making the business unable to operate or causing a significant loss of revenue. How big the business is will affect what’s a reasonable accommodation for people who have disabilities.