I sit 8 hours a day 5 days a week at a call center. My work desk seems low and I find I am hunched over all day long, and it is causing neck and back pain. The desks can be raised to different levels. Many desks are raised already as when new employees start they can be seated at the already raised desk.
My supervisor stated I needed a doctors note - I provided the doctors note to HR, and they are requiring me to fill out an ADA form with my Dr. showing I have a disability that needs modifications. I am not disabled.
I have researched this and found that OSHA recommends ergonomic desks for many reasons but I haven't found anything or any laws stating a non-disabled person needs to be classified as disabled for a workplace (desk) modification.
My employer is standing firm on this. I believe they are confusing OSHA recommendations with ADA regulations. As I mentioned there are many desks that are different heights and a variety of people (non-disabled) are using them. Any suggestions? Does anyone know if ADA is necessary?
Editing extra detail from a misplaced answer:
I work at a large call center and the "desks" are actually large, freestanding modern table-like workstation and are grouped in a semi-circle of 3 workstations which we call Pods.
Each large desk/workstation has the ability to be raised to different levels. As I am tall, the standard height is a bit too low for me to work comfortably 8 hrs a day sitting down. The desks are easily raised to the next level which a comfortable level for me. There is some type of brackets attached to the partitioned wall in front of each workstation where levels are easily raised.
The desks can only be raised by the maintenance dept. (perhaps a liability issue if not). With 70 employees in my area, with employees coming and going, the desks have been adjusted higher or lower throughout the years. I happened to be assigned to a different area where the desk level had been increased previously and it was very comfortable and caused no discomfort as I didn't need to be hunched over at the computer screen all day.
When requesting to have my new workstation raised, my direct manager said I needed a Dr. note; I presented that to HR and I was advised I needed to fill out the ADA form indicating I had a disability necessitating the adjustment. I explained to HR that I was not disabled and would not have my physician classify me as disabled (which of course would stay in my personnel file, and quite possibly this info would follow me with my medical history).
I explained that many other workstations have been raised or lowered throughout my employment there and I want the same consideration given to me as had the other employees (who are not disabled). Some desks are already raised, as I mentioned, sort of "grandfathered in" when had been used by other employees assigned to that desk. A workstation would not be lowered to a standard height each time an employee left or moved to a different dept.
Some managers, will bypass the silly rules of HR and adjust the desk themselves for their staff, or higher management would just call the maintenance dept and request it themselves. So it appears there really is not any type of rules or regulations that are enforced in each dept. manager or HR for that matter. I provided my Dr. note to HR going through the protocol I was told by my manager, and HR adamantly stated I needed to be disabled and this would be an ADA modification.
I invited them to come onto the floor to see the other elevated desks and indicated I wanted the same comfortable, ergonomic work area to avoid any back pain etc that my Dr. note stated. They declined and stated that they are not aware of any elevated workstations without an ADA form on file and it would be impossible for them to track every form to determine who is entitled and who is not.
HR was clearly flustered with my persistence and mentioned they are following a federal law that mandates desks need to be a certain height unless one is disabled. I thought that was preposterous. I believe he was confusing that with OSHA guidelines on how to avoid workplace stress and injury on the job. I asked him to provide the information on that "law", he said he didn't have it readily available and would consult with "the company attorney" on that regulations.
Well, 2 weeks passed and I received an email once again stating only... "you will need to provide the ADA form". I feel that I am being bounced back and forth getting no solid answer on any type of law. I merely request to raise the level of my workstation, with the same consideration as other employees. Mind you, several new employees have recently started and were assigned to some of the higher workstations... and they are not disabled in any way.
I'm getting frustrated with the lack of "policy" and enforcement of a policy which is nonexistent. Does anyone know of a federal law mandating desk height? I have searched and found nothing with the exception of ADA rules. I am about to consult with an attorney to help answer my questions or what my remedies are.