How to Create a Migraine-Friendly Workplace

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Slide 1

Creating a migraine-friendly workplace 

It’s not easy to do your job with a migraine, but there are things you and your employer can do to help. Here’s how to ask for what you need when dealing with migraine attacks at work.

Slide 2

Know your rights

Migraine attacks that have a serious impact on your ability to function at work may qualify as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA offers legal workplace protection for people with disabilities.

Slide 3

Ask for workplace accommodations 

Under the ADA, people who get disabling migraines can ask for “reasonable” accommodations at work. These might include:

Desk lamps instead of bright overhead lights 

Unscented products in employee bathrooms

Headphones to block out noise

Schedule changes

Slide 4

Ask your employer for a flexible schedule 

A flexible schedule lets you prioritize your health when you are experiencing a migraine attack. Schedule flexibility might look like:

Working from home 

Working part time

Working outside normal office hours

Slide 5

Talk about time off 

Check in with HR about workplace policies for paid time off and taking a leave of absence. If you know you’ll need to leave work for regular appointments with a healthcare provider (HCP), you can let HR know.

Slide 6

Discuss disability 

Your employer may offer short-term or long-term disability insurance, and the federal government offers benefits through the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program. 

Whether your migraine disease is a disability is decided on a case-by-case basis. You can work with HR and your HCP to see if you qualify. 

Slide 7

Stock your workspace

Make sure you have medications and anything else you might need, like cold compresses or sunglasses, close at hand so you’ll be prepared if you have a migraine attack at work. 

Slide 8

Share your story

Unless you’ve experienced a migraine attack, it’s hard to understand how debilitating they can be. If you’re comfortable talking to coworkers about your migraine experience, share your story. 

Raising awareness about migraine disease can help build empathy and give coworkers insight into how they can support you. 

Slide 9

Know you’re not alone

There is no shame in struggling to do your job when you are experiencing a migraine attack. More than 9 out of 10 people with migraine disease aren’t able to work or function normally during an attack. 

Slide 10

For more information 

To learn more about migraine disease and the way it impacts your life at work (and everywhere else), visit:

Association of Migraine Disorders  


This educational resource was created with support from Pfizer.