Some employees may be hesitant about asking for accommodation. They may be used to being discreet about their medical condition, or protective of trying to maintain their independence. Many employees are often fearful that by revealing any need for accommodation, they will be placing their very employment in jeopardy.
Employees need not worry about that last part – employers are required under human rights law to accommodate employees, and failure to even attempt to do so can have serious legal consequences. Employees, however, need to be forthright about what their needs are. Employers cannot accommodate needs that they do not know about, and should not be put in a position to guess what an employee’s needs may be.
Employees should approach employers (managers or an HR representative generally) as early as possible to inform them of what accommodations they are seeking. Employers may ask for additional documentation, such as medical paperwork, to support an employee’s request. From there, employers and employees can begin the dialogue about how to craft workable, appropriate accommodations for the employee.