Do you have questions about disability discrimination in California? Check out this article for guidance, then give our office a call for a free review.
Employer Refusing to Provide Reasonable Accommodation
One of the main types of cases we take are cases in which an employee is given work restrictions that require accommodation, but, as a result of the work restrictions, the employer isn’t allowing the employee to continue the work. Either the employee is being asked to stay out on leave for an extended period of time, despite the fact that the employee believes that they can work, or the employer has made the decision that as a result of the accommodation request that they have to terminate the employee.
Under California law, it’s extremely important for employees to know that they have rights. The employer has what’s called an affirmative obligation to engage in the interactive process to try and determine whether or not the employee can do their job either with accommodation or without accommodation so that they continue to work for the company. If the employee can’t do their normal customary job, it still doesn’t mean that the employee has to be terminated. If there’s a vacant position within the company, the employee is entitled to that vacant position. It’s important for you to understand that throughout that process, a lot of times the employer doesn’t want somebody there with restrictions, and they’ll throw up roadblocks or come up with excuses or simply just say, “No, you have to be 100% or you can’t come back.” A lot of times that violates the California Fair Employment Housing Act. It’s important for you to find an attorney that is well versed in the Fair Employment Housing Act as it relates to the employer’s obligation to provide an accommodation to permit the employee to continue working. It’s also the employer’s obligation to engage in a good faith and timely interactive process to make sure that the employee can continue working. If you have any questions regarding the employer’s obligation under the Fair Employment Housing Act, or what to do now that you have work restrictions and the employer isn’t returning you back to work, feel free to give me a call. I’m happy to answer any questions that you may have.
Americans with Disabilities Act
Often, we get phone calls regarding employees that have questions about the ADA, also known as the American Disabilities Act. The ADA is actually a Federal law. It’s a Federal law that was passed to protect individuals with disabilities, both for work issues and non-work issues. While many people know or have heard of the ADA, it’s also important to know that for disabled employees in California there’s another statute called the Fair Employment and Housing Act. The Fair Employment and Housing Act protects employees who have been disabled, either at work or away from work. Now, the issue as to what’s a disability under the Fair Employment and Housing Act is a little bit of a different standard than under the ADA, so it’s important for you to hire an attorney or to find an attorney that can make a distinction between the ADA and the Fair Employment Housing Act, also known as FEHA.
A lot of times in the employment setting for a disability claim under FEHA, an employee either has been injured at work and come back with work restrictions or has work restrictions for a non-work related injury. What happens is the employer is presented with a doctor’s note that says that either for a short period of time or for a long period of time an employee can’t do a certain task. By the time that they contact us or reach out to a law firm, it’s because the employers made the decision that, as a result of the work restrictions, they can’t accommodate the employee; as a result, they terminate the employee or they prevent the employee from doing certain aspects of their job that they know that they can do.
If you’ve received work restrictions for a work-related injury or a non-work related injury, it’s important for you to understand that under the Fair Employment and Housing Act, just like under the ADA, you have rights. You have the right to continue working for your employer, as long as it’s not an undue burden on the employer. It’s important for you to understand under what circumstances the employer has to accommodate you so you can continue working. If you have questions regarding the ADA, the Fair Employment and Housing Act, or just questions about the fact that a doctor has given you restrictions and those restrictions are causing problems at work, it’s important for you to talk to an attorney about that. If you have any questions, feel free to give me a call and we can discuss.
Are you or a loved one in the process of filing an employment claim in California and have questions disability discrimination? Contact the experienced California employment law attorneys at the Myers Law Group today for a free consultation and case evaluation.
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