Did Your Employer Fail to Accommodate You?
Updated: Sep 12, 2022
Employees have the right to seek accommodations.
Being a worker with a disability can be difficult to navigate. Having a physical or mental disability can impact how you perform your work, so you may need to ask your employer for a reasonable accommodation. Thankfully, California law requires your employer to engage in an interactive process to discuss your needs for accommodations.
The California Fair Employment and Housing Act, known as FEHA, requires employers with more than five employees to provide reasonable accommodations to employees such as yourself with either a physical or mental disability. This was enacted to give support to those that have physical or mental disabilities. Reasonable accommodations are there to help you succeed at your job.
What are reasonable accommodations?
A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to your job, the environment that you work in, or in the process in which you complete your work, that enables those with disabilities to have an equal employment opportunity and perform their essential job functions.
Some examples of reasonable accommodations could include granting additional or more frequent breaks for someone recovering from an injury or illness, modifying a work schedule for someone that has regular doctors appointments, or making the worksite accessible for someone who is wheelchair bound. Accommodations are requested and received by participating in a good faith interactive process.
What is the interactive process?
The interactive process is an informal process in which an employer is supposed to take time to develop potential solutions that would allow an employee to continue working. Your employer is required to engage with you in a timely manner to determine which accommodations would assist you in performing the essential functions of your job.
What if my employer didn’t engage in the interactive process?
It’s unlawful for your employer to fail in engaging in the interactive process. The point of the process is to grant those with disabilities an equal opportunity to work and earn a living.
If you have a covered disability, you can perform the essential job functions, and your employer failed to reasonably accommodate you, then you may be able to recover damages such as back pay and non-economic damages such as emotional distress damages. Call us immediately, our employment attorney will go over your case during our free consultation.
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