This is a sponsored column by attorneys John Berry and Kimberly Berry of Berry & Berry, PLLC, an employment and labor law firm located in Reston Town Center that specializes in federal employee, security clearance, retirement, and private sector employee matters.
By John V. Berry, Esq.
A reasonable accommodation is a modification to employment conditions or work practices that provides employees with disabilities equal opportunity at employment. Reasonable accommodations apply to both employees and job applicants in all states and the District of Columbia. Most employees are generally covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), but federal employees are covered under a similar law known as the Rehabilitation Act. In Virginia, employees are also covered under the Virginians with Disabilities Act. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and other civil rights governmental entities enforce these laws.
Requesting a Reasonable Accommodation
A request for reasonable accommodation can be formal or informal. Some employers have specific forms covering reasonable accommodation requests and others simply involve verbal discussions between the employee and his/her immediate supervisor or human resources department. The most typical accommodation involves an employee who has developed a medical condition or disability that requires some changes to his/her working arrangement.
The discussion between an employer and employee is often referred to as the “interactive process,” which means that the employer works with the employee in an effort to arrive at a reasonable accommodation that does not create an undue hardship on the employer. Although the employer is not required to grant every accommodation request, the employer is required to make a reasonable effort at resolving the accommodation at issue.
Examples of Reasonable Accommodations
- An employee develops a back disability and requests a new chair because his current chair is aggravating his back condition.
- An employee has developed a serious medical condition and is undergoing medical treatment in the morning. She informs her supervisor that she needs an adjustment in her start time for eight weeks while she undergoes treatment.
- An employee develops cancer and requests daily breaks at a certain time to take his medication.
- An employee develops a disability that prevents her from performing her assigned duties so she requests a position reassignment.
For more information, the EEOC has published additional guidance on reasonable accommodations.
We represent employees in federal employment matters nationwide, as well as private and public sector employees in employment matters in the Commonwealth of Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland. If you need assistance with an employment law issue, please contact our office at (703) 668-0070 or at www.berrylegal.com to schedule a consultation. Please also visit and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BerryBerryPllc.
The views and opinions expressed in this sponsored column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.
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“Probing the highly imaginative, inspired mind of Teresa Oaxaca is not altogether unlike having a present-day conversation with an Old Master,” says Nashville Arts Magazine.
Here is an unusual opportunity to learn from this incredibly talented and accessible artist, at Art House 7’s two-day oil painting workshop in October. Teresa will give 2 portrait painting demonstrations for 3 hours each morning. Students will then be painting from a clothed live model. Teresa will offer individual critiques that focus on materials, techniques, process and artistic vision. You’ll get jazzed up about painting and become more confident about your abilities.
Art House 7, Two-Day Oil Painting Workshop with Teresa Oaxaca. Saturday, October 22 and Sunday, October 23, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. EDT $250.
See more about Teresa Oaxaca here. Art House 7 5537 Langston Blvd., Arlington, Va. 22207
Validating one’s emotions has the power to heal, transform, and empower. What Is Validation? Every human being has feelings. We all have emotions that change over time, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. The question isn’t whether we feel; it’s how we handle feelings once they arise.
Building strategies to understand emotions is essential to positive mental health, and validation is one effective skill to practice.
Emotional validation is the process of understanding, embracing, and actively listening to another person’s feelings (or your own).
Understanding someone’s emotions doesn’t necessarily mean you approve of how they are feeling or reacting to something. You can be supportive in acknowledging and validating an emotional experience without agreeing or diminishing it. Validation is a skill to learn and improve over time. It may take practice, but the effort is most certainly worth it. Emotional validation has the power to enhance interpersonal communication and foster strong relationships.
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