TLDR; Yes, but only when the disability is not obvious (visible).
Upon receiving a request for accommodation, employers will often request medical information as part of the interactive process. However, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has stated that documentation should only be necessary when the disability and need for accommodation are not known or obvious.
In this case, an employer may ask the individual for reasonable documentation about his/her disability and functional limitations. The employer is entitled to know that the individual has a covered disability for which s/he needs a reasonable accommodation.
An employer may require the documentation to verify the disability and the functional limitations from an appropriate health care or rehabilitation professional. The appropriate professional in any particular situation will depend on the disability and the type of functional limitation it imposes. Appropriate professionals include, but are not limited to:
✅ Doctors (including psychiatrists)
✅ Physical therapists
✅ Occupational therapists
✅ Speech therapists
✅ Vocational rehabilitation specialists
✅ Licensed mental health professionals
Using Disclo, we’ll handle all verifications on your company’s behalf, by validating a medical inquiry with the appropriate professional. Our system (reviewed and approved by MDs) already knows exactly which medical professional is appropriate for each specific condition/disability.
What if your company doesn’t need verification even if the disability is not obvious?
Employers are not required to request sufficient documentation in order to provide an accommodation. Pro tip: not requiring medical documentation will save time during the interactive process.
Want to know more about medical documentation? Here are some of our favorite resources: