Disability Workplace Discrimination in California

Working with disabilities can present unique challenges for both the employer and the employee. To give the disabled a fair chance at work, employers in the state of California are expected to make reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities or special needs. When those accommodations are not provided, the employer may be in violation of the law.

If your employer denies you reasonable accommodations or treats you differently in hiring, firing or employment decisions based on your disability, you should consult with an Orange County employment law attorney. The NASSIRI LAW GROUP focuses on employment law, protecting employees whose rights have been violated by illegal practices including discrimination on the basis of disability or refusal to make reasonable accommodations. For more information, or to schedule a free consultation, please contact us today.

What Does “Reasonable Accommodations” Mean?

Reasonable accommodations are steps taken by an employer to ensure that an individual with disabilities is able to perform the basic actions required of a job or employment position. Reasonable accommodations also ensure that work duties can be accomplished without putting the individual’s health at risk. There are specific criteria that are used to determine if accommodations are reasonable. For example:

  • Reasonable accommodations do not change the functions of a position.
  • The situation and type of work an individual is hired for will heavily influence the definition of a reasonable accommodation. However, these accommodations should not be costly or disruptive to an employer.
  • Both employees and applicants are able to request reasonable accommodations.
  • Reasonable accommodations apply only to individuals who are legally considered “disabled.”

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides a specific definition of disabled that determines if reasonable accommodations must be made for you. The Fair Employment and Housing Act case law also gives more information on what is meant by "reasonable accommodation" for disability.

How Can I Request Reasonable Accommodations?

If you are disabled, you only have to request reasonable accommodations from one representative of a workplace such as a boss, manager, or HR representative. Your disability does not need to be disclosed to everyone in the office, nor will you need to make a written request. The nature of your disability does need to be fully disclosed to a supervisor or HR person, although a detailed explanation or history of your illness is not required.

Any medical information that you disclose to your employer is to remain confidential by law, although managers and other supervisors may need to be told about the accommodations made for you.

What Are Some Examples of Reasonable Accommodations in California?

Examples of reasonable accommodations for disability can include:

  • A modified or part-time work schedule.
  • Time off for treatment.
  • Modification of your work space.
  • Policy changes.
  • Education of other employees.
  • Equipment that can help you to perform your duties appropriately.
  • Transfer to a vacant position for which you are qualified may be requested.

The types of reasonable accommodations that can be requested are highly contingent upon the specific nature of your disability.

What if My Employer Refuses to Make Reasonable Accommodations?

The denial of reasonable accommodations is generally against state and federal disability laws. However the law does allow for such accommodations to be refused if they pose significant hardship to the business of the employer. This means that resolving disputes about reasonable accommodations requires an understanding of state and federal regulations, rulings from the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) and past legal cases.

To best understand your rights regarding reasonable accommodations, it is a good idea to seek legal counsel from an attorney with experience in workplace law and disability issues. A qualified employment attorney in Orange County will help you to understand your rights and the responsibilities of your employer to ensure that you are able to fulfill the responsibilities of your job. Your attorney will also be able to represent you if your employer violated the law so you can obtain full and fair compensation for your losses and damages.

Call an Attorney Who Can Help With Workplace Discrimination Issues If you believe you’re facing workplace discrimination on the basis of your disability, an Orange County employment lawyer at The NASSIRI LAW GROUP can help you understand the laws surrounding reasonable accommodations. Call us today at 714-937-2020 to schedule a free consultation.