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California Employer's Duty in the Interactive Process and Protecting Employee Rights

Introduction: At Nassiri Law, our dedicated team of employee rights attorneys, led by Damian Nassiri, is committed to advocating for the rights of workers in California. We specialize in various areas, including wrongful termination, wage and hour disputes, disability discrimination, sexual harassment, and more. Here we will discuss the legal obligations of California employers regarding the “interactive process” for accommodations in cases of disability discrimination. Additionally, we will highlight a real-life example where an employer failed to engage in the interactive process, resulting in adverse consequences for our client. We invite you to explore our website at Nassiri Law for more information and to contact us at 949-375-4734 to discuss your case.

The Interactive Process and Accommodations for Disabilities: Under California law, employers have a legal obligation to engage in a good-faith and timely interactive process when determining accommodations for employees with disabilities (Cal. Gov. Code § 12940(n)), which states that it is illegal for an employer to fail to engage in a timely, good faith, interactive process with the employee or applicant to determine effective reasonable accommodations, if any, in response to a request for reasonable accommodation by an employee or applicant with a known physical or mental disability or known medical condition.

This interactive process is designed to ensure that employees with disabilities are provided with reasonable accommodations that allow them to perform the essential functions of their jobs. Employers must actively communicate with employees and explore possible accommodations that can address their specific needs.

Real-Life Example: Failure to Engage in the Interactive Process: One of the clients we have represented at Nassiri Law experienced firsthand the negative consequences of an employer's failure to engage in the interactive process. In this case, our client, who had a disability, requested the accommodation of having one day off per week for doctor's appointments. Despite our client initiating the discussion about accommodations, the employer neglected to engage in the interactive process to determine further accommodations that our client might have required.

During the interview for our client's position, the supervisor did not seek to inquire if our client was medically cleared to work, even though our client had previously disclosed having a disability and has also disclosed the need for accommodations to her employer. Unfortunately, the supervisor refused to rehire our client and did not engage in the interactive process to explore potential accommodations. This failure on the part of the employer to inquire about our client's medical condition and provide necessary accommodations resulted in our client's termination.

Protecting Employee Rights with Nassiri Law: At Nassiri Law, we are passionate about defending the rights of employees who have experienced wrongful termination, disability discrimination, and other workplace injustices. Our experienced team, led by attorney Damian Nassiri, understands the nuances of employment law and is dedicated to fighting for justice. We encourage you to visit our website to learn more about wrongful termination, Damian Nassiri, wage and hour disputes, meal and rest breaks, misclassification, minimum wage, sexual harassment, and disability discrimination.

If you have faced similar challenges in your workplace, we encourage you to reach out to our dedicated team at Nassiri Law by calling 949-375-4734. We are here to listen, provide guidance, and fight for the justice and compensation you deserve. Your rights matter to us, and we are ready to stand by your side throughout the legal process.

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