Reasonable Accommodation Process
Over the last couple of years, the Reasonable Accommodation process has become a very important tool for employees to address their workplace needs with the City. One of the most common Reasonable Accommodations is the need for ergonomic equipment to ensure that those that require a sit/stand desk, or a special chair/back-rest or even a specific keyboard or mouse receive that equipment to make them more comfortable while at work.
There has been an increase in the number of Reasonable Accommodation requests made within the City now that Departments are returning to the workplace. The tools necessary to perform work at the office can be much different than at the telecommuting site. However, with these increases in the number of requests for ergonomic equipment, there has also been an increase in Reasonable Accommodation requests for many other medical issues.
MEA is aware of several employees entering the Reasonable Accommodation process on their own without all of the information available to them. This information is vital to ensure that you not only understand how the process works, but also what can happen if there is no achievable Reasonable Accommodation.
MEA anticipated this increase in Reasonable Accommodation requests in 2020, and successfully negotiated adding representation for Reasonable Accommodations into our most recent MOU Article 8 Employee Representation. This means that you have the right, as a member of MEA, to request representation in a Reasonable Accommodation.
We must stress the importance for members to please reach out to MEA before you submit a Reasonable Accommodation application to your department.
There is a lot of important information to consider before you submit your request. The Reasonable Accommodation process is uniquely personal to each employee and each classification, and MEA is here to help avoid any unintended consequences of filing a Reasonable Accommodation including making sure that you are fully informed of all the possible outcomes before deciding whether or not to go through this process.
For more information or questions, please contact your MEA Representative at 619-264-6632.