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Negotiating work accommodations


How does the patient negotiate accommodations that you both believe would help them return to work?

It is best to work together with your patient’s employer to come up with accommodation ideas that will help your patient resume working. Negotiating is a process that may require some compromise to reach agreement, especially since different workplaces have different capacities to accommodate employees with disabilities. Although the physician is responsible for identifying restrictions and limitations that need to be accommodated, the choice of accommodation is up to the employer. That said, healthcare providers’ recommendations may be appreciated by employers who lack in-house expertise.

Here are some ideas to help your patient prepare to negotiate accommodations with their employer:

  • Provide your patient with written information on restrictions and limitations based on medical information.
  • Give the patient written recommendations.
  • Think of reasonable suggestions to help overcome challenges that you and your patient anticipate at work. See workplace accommodations for job accommodation ideas.
  • Be ready to give details of the accommodations your patient requires.

You may want to refer your patient to how to negotiate work accommodations.

If your patient expects problems or does not feel comfortable negotiating accommodations on their own, and if the following are available at their workplace, consider encouraging them to contact a(n):