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Employers in California with five or more employees must provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities so long as the requested accommodation does not create an undue hardship for the company. Employees and employers each have an obligation to engage in a good faith interactive process with the goal of exploring potential accommodations and determining which accommodation may be effective. Accommodations may include such things as:

  • Making existing facilities used by applicants and employees readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. This may include, but is not limited to, providing accessible break rooms, restrooms, training rooms, or reserved parking places; acquiring or modifying furniture, equipment or devices; or making other similar adjustments in the work environment;
  • Allowing applicants or employees to bring assistive animals to the work site;
  • Transferring an employee to a more accessible worksite;
  • Providing assistive aids and services such as qualified readers or interpreters to an applicant or employee;
  • Job Restructuring. This may include, but is not limited to, reallocation or redistribution of non-essential job functions in a job with multiple responsibilities;
  • Providing a part-time or modified work schedule;
  • Permitting an alteration of when and/or how an essential function is performed;
  • Providing an adjustment or modification of examinations, training materials or policies;
  • Modifying an employer policy;
  • Modifying supervisory methods (e.g., dividing complex tasks into smaller parts);
  • Providing additional training;
  • Permitting an employee to work from home;
  • Providing a paid or unpaid leave for treatment and recovery;
  • Providing a reassignment to a vacant position; and
  • Other similar accommodations.

Pregnant employees similarly are entitled to reasonable accommodations, including temporary modifications to their job or (if the employee requests) temporary transfer to a less strenuous or hazardous position. Whether a pregnancy accommodation is reasonable is a factual determination to be made on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration such factors, including but not limited to, the employee's medical needs, the duration of the needed accommodation, the employer's legally permissible past and current practices, and other such factors, under the totality of the circumstances

The process for seeking accommodation is unfamiliar to most employees and requires an understanding of rights and obligations, including medical privacy and its limits. Let us bring our two-plus decades of expertise in this area to help you understand the process, with the goal of maintaining the employment relationship.

Licensed in California

The Law Office of Noah D Lebowitz provides representation and legal advice to employees in discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, and defamation cases as well as severance agreements and employment contracts. We have particular expertise in disability discrimination and medical leave related matters.