Workplace accommodation issues under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) can be tricky to navigate especially if the employee’s supporting medical documentation is insufficient. This often occurs in situations where the medical documentation only lists the medical condition but does not specify how it relates to a requested workplace accommodation or the health care professional does not have the expertise to issue an opinion on the medical condition. An employer may require that the employee provide sufficient supporting medical documentation prior to granting the accommodation request when the disability and need for accommodation are not obvious. However, a recent decision in Gilreath v. Cumberland County Board of Education, Civ. A. No. 11-0627, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105904 (E.D.N.C. July 31, 2014), serves as an important reminder to employers that it is incumbent upon the employer to explain why the medical documentation is insufficient and allow the employee an opportunity to provide the missing information in a timely manner. The following guidance provides clarification on the rules surrounding medical documentation in support of disability accommodation requests.

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