Q. I recently began a job as a booking agent for a small special events company. I have a first-rate work station, but the bathroom is not accessible at all — I can’t even get in the door. Even if I could, it’s an older bathroom with a couple of tiny narrow stalls, no grab bars, older sink and very little space. I’ve spoken with my new boss about this, and she offered me paid 20-minute bathroom breaks anytime I need them so I can wheel down the street to a fast-food restaurant to pee. She genuinely believes this is a reasonable accommodation, but it doesn’t feel that way to me. I know it’s a small company — only five employees — but should I push harder for an accessible bathroom on the premises? Or should I just take my bathroom breaks with a side of fries and let it go?
— Ivy
With today’s job market, I can understand your concern about confronting your new employer. A good first step is to have a serious conversation with your boss, in a friendly manner, to let her know that being the only employee who must leave the office building to use a public restroom is not a “reasonable” accommodation in your view. While you’re at it, also tell her that an inexpensive solution is available.
Since there are only five employees, removing restroom stalls and reducing the number of water closets to one while installing grab bars and an accessible lavatory should be possible in the small