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Disability Action Center NW

Do ADA Accommodations Expand to Dealings with HR?

Do ADA Accommodations Expand to Dealings with HR?

I recently had to request ADA accommodations from my employer due to a diagnosed disorder which affects my short-term memory, focus and concentration as well as how I learn and process information.

It is covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act. That fact has already been established. And the disability is enough that it does require the employer to provide some level of accommodation.

Among the accommodations suggested by my doctor is that information on changes in policy, rules, or other important information be sent to me by email rather than just told to me verbally by a supervisor.

The HR department for my company is located hundreds of miles from where I live and work, so face-to-face meetings are not possible and communication is typically done over the phone or by email.

I have requested that, if they do need to contact me, they send me an email with the information before speaking with me on the phone so that I can have it “in writing” to refer back to while we are talking.

That way, when we do speak on the phone (usually a conference call), it will still allow me to focus on what is being said and not trying to furiously scribble notes while simultanously trying to carry on a conversation with two other fast-talking people on the other end.

However, HR insists on only speaking by phone.

Even if I send them an email containing all of the information we have already discussed, and simply request that they confirm OR make corrections to the information, they will not respond unless by phone.

Even though this is not directly related to doing my actual job, my disability doesn’t JUST affect me while I am working my scheduled shift. It’s a disability that affects me in every area of my life.

Their behavior is leaving me a little suspicious that they are hoping I will say something over the phone that would allow them to claim that I gave a verbal resignation of my position with the company.

Wouldn’t ADA-based accommodations carry over into how the company’s HR department communicates with me, too?

Just wondering. . .

– Asked by Female, 29-35