Accommodating Employees with ME/CFS

The following list of possible modifications for people with ME/CFS is provided by the U.S. Department of Labor's Job Accommodation Network.

Concentration Issues:
  • Provide written job instructions when possible
  • Prioritize job assignments & provide more structure
  • Allow flexible work hours & allow a self-pace workload
  • Allow periodic rest periods to reorient
  • Provide memory aids, such as schedulers or organizers
  • Minimize distractions
  • Reduce job stress
Photo Sensitivity:
  • Minimize outdoor activities between the peak hours of 10:00 am and 4:00 pm
  • Avoid reflective surfaces such as sand, snow, and concrete
  • Provide clothing to block UV rays
  • Provide "waterproof" sun-protective agents such as sunblocks or sunscreens
  • Install low wattage overhead lights
  • Provide task lighting
  • Replace fluorescent lighting with full spectrum or natural lighting
  • Eliminate blinking and flickering lights
  • Install adjustable window blinds and light filters
Migraine Headaches:
  • Provide task lighting
  • Eliminate fluorescent lighting
  • Use computer monitor glare guards
  • Reduce noise with sound absorbent baffles/partitions, environmental sound machines, & headsets
  • Provide alternate work space to reduce visual & auditory distractions
  • Implement a "fragrance-free" workplace policy
  • Provide air purification devices
  • Allow flexible work hours & work from home
  • Allow periodic rest breaks
Sleep Disorder:
  • Allow flexible work hours & frequent breaks
  • Allow work from home
  • Reduce or eliminate physical exertion & workplace stress
  • Schedule periodic rest breaks away from the workstation
  • Allow a flexible work schedule & flexible use of leave time
  • Allow work from home
  • Implement ergonomic workstation design
  • Provide a scooter or other mobility aid if walking cannot be reduced
Depression & Anxiety:
  • Reduce distractions in work environment
  • Provide to-do lists & written instructions
  • Remind employee of important deadlines & meetings
  • Allow time off for counseling
  • Provide clear expectations of responsibilities & consequences
  • Provide sensitivity training to co-workers
  • Allow breaks to use stress management techniques
  • Develop strategies to deal with work problems before they arise
  • Allow telephone calls during work hours to doctors & others for support
  • Provide information on counseling & employee assistance programs
Temperature Sensitivity:
  • Modify work-site temperature & maintain the ventilation system
  • Modify dress code
  • Use fan/air-conditioner or heater at the workstation & redirect vents
  • Allow flexible scheduling & work from home during extremely hot or cold weather
  • Provide an office with separate temperature control

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