ADA and reasonable workplace accommodation in CA
March 14, 2012 5:36 PM Subscribe
ADA, reasonable accommodation in the workplace, and supervisor resigning: I have questions. (This is in California)
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I am a full-time, exempt, salaried employee in CA covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act due to treatment for a serious illness (and now for chronic side effects related to treatment). My accommodation has consisted of occasionally working at home – on average maybe two mornings a week (then I come in to the office around lunch), and one or two full days each month. The vast majority of my job duties can be done via telecommuting, and my supervisor and colleagues have never indicated that this has posed any hardships for them. I have consistently received extremely strong employee evaluations and even received a (very rare) bonus last year. If we weren't in a promotions freeze, I would be in line for one. (I have worked here nearly ten years.)
However: the management style and general workplace culture of our organization has, over the past few years, grown chaotic and toxic, and my supervisor has confided in me that she has just resigned. I suspect that the fact that our workplace has accommodated me so well is due largely to her intercession with HR and other higher-ups.
We know who my supervisor’s replacement will be; it is someone from an outside (but similar) organization in our same city. There is reason to believe that New Supervisor is not sympathetic towards employees working at home.
My questions: if New Supervisor is indeed not sympathetic, does their opinion automatically alter what is considered a reasonable accommodation for my disability? Or does my track record of successfully doing my job while working at home 10-20% of the time establish, on the face of it, that the accommodation is reasonable? Is this something I need to bring up with HR before the new supervisor arrives, in order to establish that what has been considered reasonable for the past several years will continue to be considered reasonable in the future? (My HR rep has been pleasant and supportive in the past, but my natural inclination is to relate to HR departments in general with caution, as I feel that they’re ultimately there to watch out for the employer’s interests, not necessarily mine. Also, despite the fact that I have had good evaluations, etc., I have absolutely no reason to believe that upper/executive management cares if I stay on the job or not, as they have made it very, very clear that they don't care if *any* employees outside the inner circle stay or go at this point. I would be more than happy to leave the job myself and go freelance, except for the fact that for obvious reasons, I can't lose my health insurance, and I can't afford COBRA.)
I would prefer to hear from people who have some specific knowledge or experience in the ADA, employment law, and/or HR, rather than just speculation. Thank you.