Employers must make reasonable accommodation for a disability

If you have a disability, you are probably aware that an employer cannot discriminate against you on the grounds of your disability. Many people think this merely means they cannot do negative things, such as making derogatory comments. What they may not realize is that California employers are required to be proactive. Doing nothing may qualify as discrimination.

If your employer has five or more employees, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act says they must make “reasonable accommodations” for your disability to allow you to carry out your job. Employers must also make these allowances to enable you to apply for employment in the first place.

Employers are required to “initiate an interactive conversation” when they become aware of a possible need for accommodation. Not all disabilities are apparent to people, so there is certainly no harm mentioning if you need something.

Reasonable accommodation may include:

  • Altering job roles
  • Altering working hours
  • Moving your workspace
  • Providing electrical or mechanical aids

Key to determining whether something is reasonable is whether it will cause the employer “undue hardship.” To a certain degree, this will depend upon the size of the company you work for. If you work for a mom and pop outfit, the amount they can afford to spend, or the flexibility they can offer will be less than that of a multinational.

What you think is reasonable, and the employer considers reasonable may not be the same thing. If you feel your Pensacola employer is not making reasonable accommodations for your disability, seek legal help from an attorney who understands California employment law.

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