|My Doctor is refusing to fill out paperwork I need to get a reasonable accommodation at work
Jun 9, 2012
I am HIV positive and have asked for ADA accommodations at work. The ADA coordinator asked me to have my Infectious Disease Doctor complete two documents. 1. Was a statement on letterhead confirming my HIV diagnosis - the doctor was more than happy to provide that document. 2. The second was the employers form requesting the Doctor complete the form listing all the ADA accommodations that he felt I needed. The Doctor refused to complete it as he stated he was not an ADA Assessment Specialist. I informed the employers ADA Coordinator and now she wants to send a letter to the Doctor asking for the same information. I need help in finding a Doctor or Medical provider that will complete this form. I live in Portland Oregon. The hurdles one has to jump through are overwhelming.
| Response from Ms. Douaihy
Thank you for submitting this query.
I share your frustration about the many hurdles often required in securing a reasonable accommodation in the workplace. Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (the "ADA") requires certain employers to grant reasonable accommodations to qualified employees with disabilities unless to do so would cause an "undue hardship". Reasonable accommodations are changes in one's job or in the way things are customarily done that allows a disabled employee to have equal opportunity in the workplace.
In your case, your employer's ADA coordinator has asked for "reasonable documentation" from your physician to substantiate your claims that 1) you have an ADA qualified disability (HIV counts) and 2) and that your disability necessitates a reasonable accommodation. It does not sound like your employer's ADA coordinator is acting irrationally. This is because employers are allowed to ask an appropriate source (like a doctor) for documentation of one's disability and subsequent functional limitations that affect your ability to work.
It sounds like so far you have done everything you can to protect your rights by taking the steps to satisfy your employer's protocol. I would recommend you now allow your ADA coordinator follow up with your doctor since the document is something the employer has decided it needs.
If you are ultimately medically eligible for a reasonable accommodation and denied solely due to your employer's inability to procure its desired paperwork, I strongly suggest that you consult with an attorney who can advise you of your rights. Oregon has several legal services providers that may offer advice or representation at low-cost or no-cost. You can look into your options here
I also advise you to contact the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC is the agency that enforces this important section of ADA. Their general phone number is 1-800-669-3362. Good luck to you, stay strong!
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