Military Veterans are not getting Reasonable Accommodation at Work

Reasonable Accommodation
Reasonable Accommodation

A Reasonable accommodation for Military Veterans in the civilian workplace can come in all shapes and sizes.

Hopefully, seeking an accommodation is as easy as asking.  Other times, Veterans need more support.

In my experience, many vets are afraid to ask for an accommodation because they are afraid, fearful of reprisal or rightfully so believe it is nobody’s business.

All of these are good reasons to hold back.  On the other hand, maybe just maybe your performance depends on a reasonable accommodation.

Reasonable Accommodation: Examples of Veteran Requests

Here are a few examples of a reasonable accommodation often sought by military veterans:

  • Allowing Veterans to bring their service animal,
  • Flexible work schedule,
  • Acquiring written instructions,
  • Reducing job into small tasks,
  • New equipment like a one-handed keyboard, large key keyboard or speech recognition software,
  • Ability to take more work breaks,
  • Special chair or desk,
  • Easier parking accommodations,
  • Special lighting, and or
  • Ability to listen to soft music.

Reasonable Accommodation: Veterans who needs It?

In general, military veterans with a disability or special need should be granted a reasonable accommodation.

For vets in Minnesota, this might include a veteran with PTSD, depression, anxiety, sensory issues (hearing  or touch) or a veteran impacted by a loss of functionality of a body part or muscle.

If your mind, heart, friend, family member or doctor hits at needing an accommodation, then I am in favor of seeking it as soon as possible.

It doesn’t matter if the issue you need help with was a result of a previous issue or an event subsequent to your military service.

Reasonable Accommodation: How should Veterans Ask?

For some situations, veterans do not need to ask.  For others, the threshold for asking for help is low.  In other words, make it verbally or in writing.

Most military veterans have enough experience to know that half the battle is getting something in writing. Thus, I like the idea of creating a record by either taking notes of a conversation or making a more formal request by e-mail or text.

Reasonable Accommodation: Veteran’s Request gets Denied

I hope for military veterans to have their request granted by civilian employers.  When a request is denied or a veteran gets singled out, I think veterans should use both state and federal law to their advantage.