An employer may be liable for unlawful discrimination if it fails to provide reasonable accommodations for an employee’s disability when the employer knew or should have known about the employee’s disability. In California, an employee may be deemed to have a disability if the limitation interferes with their ability to work. Reasonable accommodations can include things like reduction in hours, working from home, finite leaves of absence, ergonomic chair or keyboard, and more.
Once the employer becomes aware of the need for a reasonable accommodation, whether through the employee’s request or the employer’s own observations, the employer’s obligation to provide a reasonable accommodation is triggered.
The employer and employee must then engage in a good faith interactive process to determine whether the requested accommodation is reasonable for the employer without causing the employer “undue hardship.” If the employer rejects the employee’s requested accommodation without discussion, the employer may be liable for disability discrimination because of its failure to discuss reasonable alternatives. This often occurs through a specific rejection coupled with termination. Employees can also face harassment and retaliation for needing a reasonable accommodation and asserting their rights to have one in the workplace.
If you do not have a physical or mental disability, but you are unable to work due to your own serious medical condition or that of a family member, you may still be eligible to take a leave of absence under the Federal and State Medical Leave Acts (FMLA and CFRA) for up to 12 weeks.
We have a team of employment disability attorneys who represent employees affected by disability discrimination thorough out the state of California, including the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Diego.