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Notification Note of ADA to employer
Jan 7, 2009

Hello -

I have read many of the inquiries and advice given on going on record with your employer under the Americans with Disabilities Act. However, I am in the position where I feel I need to inform my employer now, but am not sure how to construct the letter. Obviously, I do not want to provide my diagnosis, but I feel the natural question to be asked by HR will be "What do you have?"

At this time, I do not feel I need any special accommodation, but will be returning to work in a few days after being out of the office for nearly 2.5 weeks. Should I possibly wait until I do need accommodation?

I did find the below outline online, but, again, at this point, do not need any special accommodation. My objective is to just get on the record. Thanks in advance for your help!!

Guidelines found Date of Letter

Your name Your address

Employer's name Employer's address

Dear (e.g., Supervisor, Manager, Human Resources, Personnel):

Content to consider in body of letter:

Identify yourself as a person with a disability

State that you are requesting accommodations under the ADA (or the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 if you are a federal employee)

Identify your specific problematic job tasks

Identify your accommodation ideas

Request your employer's accommodation ideas

Refer to attached medical documentation if appropriate*

Ask that your employer respond to your request in a reasonable amount of time


Your signature Your printed name

Cc: to appropriate individuals

You may want to attach medical information to your letter to help establish that you are a person with a disability and to document the need for accommodation.

Response from Ms. Breuer


I'm not sure why you feel the urgency of going on record, but you can do it without identifying a need for accommodation. The letter would be simple and short (the outline would work, without the part about accommodation) and instead you could say that you do not need any accommodation at this time. The smart HR person does not ask, "What do you have?" The smart person with a disability doesn't answer that question directly.

Have you exceeded your allowable sick days? Do you anticipate exceeding them in 2009? If so, you could reference that, indicating that you will do everything possible to stay within the limits of the policy.

Apart from that, there's nothing else to do except ask the recipient in writing to put your letter into your medical file, not your general personnel file. I assume you'd address the letter to your seniormost HR person. And I truly wish you well.

Taking a small employer
56 and still working rotating shifts

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