The Proactive Process: An Empirical Study of Disparities in Workplace Accommodations

By Heidi H. Liu. 

Recent legislation and caselaw have imposed an affirmative obligation on employers to provide employees with workplace accommodations. Whether someone receives an accommodation, however, often first depends on whether they ask. And asking for accommodations can be fraught. Employees may fear stigma or be uncertain about navigating employer- specific unwritten rules and procedures. Although scholars have begun to argue that these procedures are unreasonably onerous, we know little about the extent to which people ask for and are granted accommodations.

This Article addresses this empirical gap. I use newly released data from the Census Bureau, alongside additional data from the Department of Labor, to analyze demographic disparities in workplace accommodations. My original study is one of the first nationally representative studies to do so and the first-ever use of this data. Full Article