Reply To: Open office plan, no accommodations, and ADHD

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Hi Molly!

First of all, I am so sorry to hear you’re going through this and I know how you feel. In my last office it was an open office environment and my cube mate had Tourette’s — complete with uncontrollable verbal outbursts of an inappropriate nature. I didn’t fault him for his condition, of course, but tried severa times to approach my boss about it. I requested to use an empty office, knowing it would eventually be filled, and he completely ignored my requests. I ended up taking a different position in another office and while I still struggle — a lot sometimes — my new boss is much more understanding. Now, I know that doesn’t mean you can just get a new job, so…

It’s VERY good that you have a diagnosis and see a therapist. And also that previously you were given reasonable accommodations! Why? Because you may be able to get the accommodations you need under the Americans with Disabilities Act! There are some stipulations that must be met to utilize the ADA, including documented history of the condition and how it affects you personally, otherwise preventing you from doing your job (aka it must disable you).

I would document any conversations with your boss about accommodations. Try to compile a timeline of dates, times, and with whom you’ve spoken to show you’ve made attempts in earnest to remedy this. If you have any measurable performance changes from when you had accommodations to not having them, compile the stats in a document. Take all of that info to your company’s HR or similar department, along with a letter from your doc or therapist if you can get one.

Explain to them that because your ADHD is otherwise debilitating, you are entitled under law to reasonable accommodations, and outline those requests in a document. Try to briefly explain what each accommodation does to support your work performance. It will be a daunting task, but it will help you in the end. When talking to HR try not to get aggravated or upset (it will be hard to have to explain yourself yet again, most likely) and also try to word your request so that it doesn’t sound like a threat. As a last resort you could consider a free consultation from an employment attorney that specializes in ADA.

Timeline of requests to new management
History of past requests to old manager
Any supporting documents/emails outlining past accommodations
Letter from therapist/doctor
List of current requests and how they will help
Any performance-related stats before/after merger if available
Printed copy of ADA

You can find more info here:

Also, when I was taking Evekeo (similar to Adderall) I know there was a huge coupon available. There are some other medication coverage programs out there for FREE that will get you discounted meds for all kinds of things so consider looking into those.

Best of luck to you!! I know exactly how frustrating this is and all the anxiety it can bring. I hope you get a quick resolution!