So long as a person can perform the essential duties of a job, they must be given the same consideration and be treated fairly–even if they are disabled. Disability accommodations in California workplaces can make this possible and level the playing field so that every Californian is given a fair chance to make a living. If you have a recognized disability that can be accommodated reasonably by employers, they must do so.
Disability Protections Under California And Federal Law
The federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) made it illegal to discriminate against any disabled person in the workplace anywhere in the United States. This protection includes allowing them to have certain accommodations in order to carry out their duties, such as allowing a guide dog in the office, providing a larger desk that can be used by a person in a wheelchair, or making other adjustments to a disabled person’s needs. Under California law, these protections are further expanded, so disabled people are not precluded from career opportunities.
Employer Responsibility To Provide “Reasonable Accommodation”
How far does an employer have to go to accommodate an employee’s disability? Under the ADA, any “reasonable accommodation” must be made wherever possible. Exactly where the line is drawn isn’t always clear, but it can include everything from providing assistive technology to allowing a temporary leave of absence, a part-time schedule, or telecommuting to even preferential reassignment to a vacant position. It really will depend on the position, the company, and the disability.
In reality, most requests for standard accommodations can and should be met by employers or they can be considered in violation of the ADA and California disability laws, especially as the state recently has made the affirmative accommodation and integration of disabled persons a priority. If you need an accommodation, you simply must make a formal request of your employer and in some cases provide documentation of the disability being accommodated.
What Can I Do If My Accommodation Request Is Denied?
Employers cannot turn down reasonable accommodation requests, so if you have been denied unfairly, you have options. Ask your employer to explain why the requested accommodation would cause them undue hardship and if you are rebuffed, talk to an employment attorney about your options. You may be able to pursue a legal remedy through the courts or the EEOC and even collect damages to offset the difficulties caused by your unjust denial of accommodation with the help of an employment lawyer. At Wakeford and Gelini, we have years of experience successfully fighting for fair disability accommodation, and we’d be proud to help you get the fair treatment you deserve.