At Gallenberg PC, our Los Angeles, Burbank, and Beverly Hills wrongful termination attorneys know the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) requires employers of five or more employees to provide reasonable accommodations for individuals with a physical or mental disability applying for or performing the essential functions of their jobs unless it would cause undue hardship to do so.
This vital California law removes barriers that would prevent someone from performing a job they could otherwise do with some accommodation.
However, what most employees do not know is, California Assembly Bill No. 987 amends a section of the Government Code, making it unlawful for an employer to “retaliate or otherwise discriminate against a person for requesting accommodation . . . regardless of whether the request was granted.”
If you believe you were wrongfully denied workplace accommodations, or retaliated against for requesting them, our Los Angeles County employment law attorney may be able to help you. We do not charge prospective clients for a confidential telephone intake or online case review. Contact us today to learn more.Who is Entitled to Reasonable Workplace Accommodations in California?
There are many types of reasonable workplace accommodations, and each request is unique to the employee, and must be evaluated individually on a case-by-case basis.
Reasonable accommodations requests may include, but are not limited to:
- Changing job duties
- Changing work schedules
- Pregnant employees requiring more rest breaks
- Providing leave for medical care
- Providing mechanical or electrical aids
- Time for religious practices and observances
- Relocating the work area
In California, it is unlawful for an employer to fail to engage in a timely, good faith, interactive process. The process requires an individualized assessment of both the job and the specific physical or mental limitations of the individual that are directly related to the need for reasonable accommodation.
In addition, employees with disabilities may have separate rights to unpaid leave under the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act, the California Family Rights Act, and the California Pregnancy Disability Leave Act.
If you are a California employee who has a reasonable belief that how your accommodation request was handled was unlawful, contact our experienced Los Angeles, Burbank, and Beverly Hills wrongful termination lawyers today to schedule a confidential telephone intake or go online now to complete a case review.How Should I Request a Reasonable Accommodation from My California Employer?
Generally, employees in California have a right to request reasonable accommodation during the application or hiring process, and during any course of their employment should their abilities change.
It is not uncommon for California employees to experience circumstances that may require reasonable accommodations, which may include getting injured, becoming disabled, becoming pregnant, or undergoing treatment for a dependency issue.
When a reasonable accommodation request is necessary, an employee must provide the employer with a notice explaining why the current work conditions or job duties prevent them from performing their duties and outline what type of accommodation would reverse the impediment.
The notice for a reasonable accommodation may be accompanied by a doctor’s note detailing the employee’s condition and what medical restrictions are necessary.Do I Have to Request Workplace Accommodations from My California Employer in Writing?
No. An employee can request workplace accommodations verbally, but it is highly recommended that a request be in writing. An employee can email the workplace accommodation request to his or her supervisor, human resources representative, or both. It is important that the employee keep a copy of the request for accommodations should the request be denied or partly provided. However, even if the employee does not keep a copy of the request, this is not fatal to a lawsuit for denial of reasonable accommodations in the workplace. If you are unsure if you have a claim, you can contact one of our Los Angeles workplace accommodations lawyers at our office to discuss the specifics of your case.What Is A Duty of Good Faith Interactive Process in California?
In California, most employers must engage with an employee in good faith to determine what reasonable accommodations must be provided to an employee who is disabled or might be disabled (such as an employee who was injured at work). This means that if an employer has a reason to believe that an employee needs accommodations, even if the employer thinks it cannot provide one, it must still have a dialogue with the employee in good faith to determine if the job duties can be modified, or if an accommodation can be provided such as part-time work, lifting restrictions, pulling restrictions, or equipment that can assist the employee in performing the job duties. When an employer does not engage in the interactive process or doesn’t engage in the interactive process in good faith, this can give rise to liability. The process is called interactive because the expectation is that the employee will also participate in the process to try to reach a common ground for the provision of a reasonable accommodation in the workplace. It is helpful for the employee and employer to keep a log of the conversations to prove the process was interactive or to prove one party did not engage in the interactive process in good faith.What Happens If I Am Denied a Reasonable Accommodation by My California Employer?
An important component of the FEHA is that it is unlawful for employers to retaliate against or wrongfully terminate an employee in response to a reasonable accommodation request regardless of whether the employer chose to provide the accommodation.
If the necessary accommodation is unlawfully denied, you may have a legal claim against your employer for violating your workplace rights.
If your request for workplace accommodation is denied, and the denial itself is not unlawful, but your employer retaliates against you for requesting the accommodation, you may also have a legal claim. A workplace accommodations attorney at our Los Angeles office may be able to assist you with this claim.
Common ways employers retaliate against employees for requesting a reasonable accommodation for their disabilities may include:
- Denial of promotions or employment opportunities
- Harassing or abusive communication
- Job demotion
- Needless disciplinary actions, including written violations
- Poor work evaluations and/or performance reviews
- Reduction in work responsibility
- Shift reductions
- Threatening statements or behaviors from managers or co-workers
- Transfer to an unfavorable location that makes it difficult for the employee to keep working
- Wrongful termination
To learn whether your denied accommodation was illegal on its own, or whether your employer’s behavior after denying the request was retaliatory, our Los Angeles County employment law attorney may be able to help you. Contact us today to learn more.
We do not charge prospective clients for a confidential telephone intake or online case review.How Can the California Wrongful Termination Lawyer at Gallenberg PC Help?
At Gallenberg PC, our workplace accommodations lawyer has offices in Los Angeles, Burbank, and Beverly Hills, so unlawfully terminated or discriminated employees have access to the legal representation they need to pursue results inside and outside the courtroom — no matter where they live or work in California.
Our primary goal is to make legal services accessible to everyone in California, regardless of a person’s ability to pay.
We understand that many individuals cannot afford to pay upfront hourly rates or retainers for a labor attorney. That does not mean they should not have the legal ability to pursue justice after suffering from unlawful treatment in any California workplace.
Our wrongful termination attorney in Los Angeles, Burbank, and Beverly Hills takes all eligible cases on a contingency basis, which means if we do not win your case, you do not pay our legal fees.
If you were denied a reasonable accommodation for your disability in California, or were retaliated against for requesting it, contact Gallenberg PC today to discuss your important case with our skilled employment law attorney in Los Angeles at (213) 986-8432, Burbank at (818) 237-5267, or Beverly Hills at (310) 295-1654 to schedule a free intake today.
If you prefer, complete a Free Online Case Review to have your claim screened by our experienced employment law attorney and we will contact you directly to discuss your case.