Accommodations Were Not Effective – Communicating With Your Employer

If you requested an accommodation at work, your employer has the right to suggest an alternative accommodation as long as it’s effective. What can you do if the alternative accommodation is not working? It’s important to let your employer know and reopen your case. Job Accommodation Network (JAN) recommends doing so in writing.

In the letter, you can remind your employer of the accommodation you requested and why it would help you perform your job unless this accommodation was denied by your employer and there was a valid reason. However, you can still  explain why the alternative accommodation is not effective  and provide additional medical documentation to support your argument. You can also request to meet with your employer in person if you feel this would help.

Sample Letter from JAN:

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:

  • Thank your employer for offering the alternative accommodation
  • State that the alternative accommodation will not be effective
  • Explain why the alternative accommodation will not be effective
  • Remind the employer about your specific work-related problem that created the need for an accommodation
  • Remind your employer about your accommodation ideas and ask that they be reconsidered unless they’ve been ruled out for valid reasons
  • Offer to meet with your employer to discuss the situation further and to explore other ideas if needed
  • Refer your employer to the medical documentation you already provided if appropriate or provide additional information if needed
  • Sincerely,

Your signature

Your printed name

Cc: to appropriate individuals

Need Additional Help?

If you would like to speak to someone at JAN, here’s their contact page and below is their number:

Voice: 800-526-7234

TTY:   877-781-9403

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ADA. (n.d.). What are the limitations on the obligation to make a reasonable accommodation?. Retrieved from:

Job Accommodation Network. (n.d.). How to inform an employer that an accommodation is not effective and a sample letter. Retrieved from:

U.S. Department of Labor. (n.d.). Accommodations for Employees with Mental Health Conditions. Retrieved from: