California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) provide broad protections and rights for people with disabilities or injuries in a wide variety of settings. One of those protections includes an employee’s entitlement to reasonable accommodations when needed to perform their employment functions.
Because employment is a fundamental part of American society, the FEHA and ADA seek to make employment as inclusive to disabled or injured individuals as possible. Without these legal protections, many injured or disabled people would be forced out of the workforce. This would cause substantial economic hardship for those individuals, who may, in turn, seek and rely on government assistance to survive. Though some disabilities may make work impossible, the vast majority of disabilities are not that severe and can be accommodated. Most disabled individuals are able to work, though many need some reasonable accommodations in order to perform their jobs.
While most employers are more than willing and happy to provide reasonable accommodations as the law requires, unfortunately, some are not. Good managers and human resource professionals ensure that all employees are able to work to their fullest potential, provide those employees with the tools to do so, and cooperate with individuals who need accommodations. However, not all employers, managers, and human resource professionals are reasonable and accommodating. Some have internal or external biases, while others simply don’t want to be inconvenienced by accommodation requests. For this reason, it is often necessary for injured or disabled employees to fight for the accommodations they need and deserve. Our disability discrimination attorneys in California can provide you with the advice and guidance needed when dealing with a difficult or reluctant employer.
The law requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to people with disabilities in three areas: applications, performing the essential functions of a job, and providing equal benefits and privileges of employment. During the hiring process, a disabled employee may need accommodations related to materials or tests used in the application process. To perform the essential functions of a job, an employee may need a certain piece of equipment. For example, a visually impaired employee may need a large computer monitor or a wheelchair accessible location may need to be chosen so a disabled employee can participate in an office holiday party.
The word “reasonable” is open to interpretation, though courts have set many standards. Essentially, reasonable means an accommodation the employer must provide without experiencing an undue hardship. A very expensive accommodation that is extremely burdensome to the employer is an instance where an employer may have the right to refuse. An employer might also argue that an accommodation request would somehow damage business operations or that it is not needed for the employee to perform the essential functions of the job. If you are grappling with this, you should contact an employment attorney who will evaluate the facts and provide you with proper guidance and support.
It is always advisable to get advice from a disability discrimination attorney if you need a reasonable accommodation to gain employment, remain employed, or are in fear of termination. Consulting with a discrimination attorney should not cost you anything. Further, if your work performance or ability to gain a promotion hinges on a reasonable accommodation, fully understanding your rights under the law is fundamental to your ability to succeed.
In order for an employer to be legally required to provide accommodations, the employee or applicant must request that accommodation. Often times, this comes in the form of a doctor’s note that you provide to your employer. It is always advisable to put the request in writing, so if there is a future dispute as to whether you made the request, the written record will support your claim.
The request need not be in a certain form or use the words “reasonable accommodation.” It does not need to mention the ADA, FEHA, or other federal or state law, but it should make it clear that accommodations are needed for you to perform your job. Because the wording of the request can make a big difference, it is advisable to seek help in preparing the written request from an employment discrimination attorney California
There are cases in which the employer is willing to grant the request but want to modify it to some degree. Your employment discrimination attorney in California can help you navigate this important negotiation process successfully. Also, where an employer attempts to deny the request, your disability discrimination lawyer will advise you accordingly and help you preserve your rights.
In some cases, an employer or manager may engage in illegal conduct by outright denying a legitimate accommodation request. Furthermore, an employee may experience retaliation for making the request. Sometimes, employers simply don’t want the disabled employee and may terminate the employee on the basis of false claims. All of these actions are illegal. If you are on the receiving end of any of these unlawful employment practices, you should contact an employment discrimination lawyer as soon as possible. West Coast Employment Lawyers has the best employment discrimination lawyers to get you the compensation you deserve. However, time limits apply, so if you have been the victim of disability discrimination at work or there are difficulties with your accommodation requests, contact West Coast Employment Lawyers today.
West Coast Employment Lawyers has the employment discrimination lawyers to get you the compensation you deserve. If you or someone you know needs legal counsel on reasonable accommodations or have been discriminated against, our legal team is here to help.
You pay no fees or costs if our attorneys do not obtain a settlement or judgment on your behalf. You can reach an experienced California reasonable accommodation employment lawyer at our firm at any time by calling 1-800-247-9235 or emailing [email protected].
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