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Company Wants Accommodation Review

Company Wants Accommodation Review2013-01-13T15:38:43+00:00

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  • #118396

    Post count: 121

    I’m back…decided I needed time away for a while to recharge. Like the new website BTW.

    Some of you may remember my posts from several years ago describing my battle in trying to get accommodations at work as someone with ADHD diagnosed at 55 years of age. (I posted several other ADHD topics as well.) These accommodations were outlined by my psychiatrist and the psychologist that performed the test.

    It was a major uphill struggle that left me mentally and physically exhausted to have these accommodations implemented. seen. Some were accepted, such as allowance of extra time for task completion (and THAT was a constant battle), dual computer monitors, workplace coaching, etc. However, some of the really obvious recommendations, such as working in a quiet, distraction free area, removal of non-essential tasks and other administriva, etc., weren’t. Then work with three different incompetent supervisors during the last three years. All that, I think, provoked a major depressive and anxiety-filled episode.

    Now after another of a series of poor performance reviews, the company wants to re-assess the accommodations because my supervisor thinks these accommodations aren’t having the desired effect of improving my productivity.

    Has anyone ever been in this situation before, or have any thoughts, about how to get past this phase without having my world implode?

    Thanks, all!



    Patte Rosebank
    Post count: 1517

    First of all, remember YOU ARE NOT HELPLESS.  There is a lot that you can do to control this situation, so you must take charge of it.  Make a plan, and follow it.

    I was in a similar situation, but it happened when I was assigned to a new manager, who refused me any accommodations, then wrote a very negative (and FALSE) quarterly review and used it to fire me on the spot.  I filed a formal complaint with the Human Rights Commission, and compiled extensive documentation to support my case.

    It dragged on for 3 years (way longer than it was supposed to), but, ultimately, I got a settlement that was several times bigger than the pittance the company had offered me when the manager had had me frog-marched out of the building.  The satisfaction & empowerment I felt was tremendous.

    The most important thing for you to do is TAKE NOTES OF EVERYTHING, and keep that notebook a secret.  Note the date, what they said, what you said, etc.  Make each entry ASAP, so you remember all the details, but do NOT let anyone see you doing this.

    Also, ask your Human Resources Department to let you look at your personnel file.  Do this NOW, before anything else happens.  Legally, you are allowed to see what’s in your file, and to request photocopies of everything in it.

    Because I had done this shortly before I was fired, I had a smoking gun:  the Medical letters advising that I had severe Depression & Anxiety and explaining the effect it had on my work…and a note from my new manager, specifically referring to my Depression & Anxiety.  This completely refuted the company’s argument that they didn’t know I had these disabilities.

    Equally important, you must familiarize yourself with the laws of your area, governing accommodation of disabilities in the workplace.  Contact the government department that’s in charge of this, and ask them lots of questions.

    You need to know exactly where you stand.  Does the employer have to do whatever is needed to help you…or just enough that is *reasonable*…or just enough that it isn’t a hardship for the employer?  This will determine whether your employer has to find you an equivalent job in the company that you CAN do, or whether your employer can just say, “We tried, but he just can’t do anything here.”

    That government department can advise you on how to handle the situation, and what happens if your employer decides to fire you.  It may be enough just for the government department to write a letter to your company now, reminding it of the legal obligations it has to accommodate persons with disabilities.

    But you need to tell your company exactly what accommodations you need.  Sit down and figure them out.  For each accommodation, do it like this:



    Possible Solutions:

    This shows that you have identified & evaluated each issue (NOT “problem”), the reason for it, and possible solutions.  You’ve done most of the work.  All your employer has to do is look at your list, discuss it with you, and decide which solutions to go with.

    It also shows that you can take charge of a situation, assess it, and find solutions.  These are VERY desirable skills in an employee.

    Keep reminding yourself:  I AM NOT HELPLESS.

    You will be amazed at how effective you can be, when you make a plan and take charge of your situation.


    Post count: 121

    Thanks for your advice, Larynxa

    I will definitely use those. I cannot help but think that a major part of poor performance is not only the affects of ADHD, but the residual effects of all the stress I went through to assert my rights in the first place.

    Where I work, I’m easily twice the average age of everyone in my department. Not that I am paranoid, but I have seen a lot of workers my age not get promotions (will resulting pay raise) or opportunities for  new and  interesting assignments; sometimes are just  gone. We just went through a 2% staff reduction and almost all (I’d venture to say all) were people with long service. Meanwhile, we still have junior workers and contractors still on staff. My wife claims that declaring my disability may have prevented getting laid-off  for some sort of affirmative action quota. (I live in Ontario). Me? I’m planning to retire within the year, but I want to retire on my terms, not theirs, but they are certainly pushing very hard.


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