Accommodation of Disability in the Workplace
One of the most significant protections for employees is the right to receive an accommodation that enables them to perform their jobs while still protecting important civil rights. Accommodation is most often thought of in terms of an employee with a disability, although it can apply in other areas as well, such as accommodation of an employee’s religious beliefs or practices. At Ochoa & Calderón, we understand the importance of accommodation in the workplace and how critical it is to enable employees to fulfill their responsibilities on the job. Ensuring that employees with disabilities have the necessary support and modifications is not just a legal requirement; it’s a commitment to inclusivity and respect for every individual’s right to work. If you are an employee in Riverside or Southern California needing help receiving an accommodation in the workplace, or if you have been fired or otherwise discriminated against on the basis of disability or other protected characteristics under federal or California law, call Ochoa & Calderón for a free consultation with our skilled and experienced Riverside employment law attorneys.
What Is Disability Accommodation?
Disability accommodation refers to the adjustments and modifications made by an employer to enable employees with disabilities to perform their job duties effectively. These accommodations are essential for creating an equitable work environment and are mandated under various federal and state laws.
The primary law governing disability accommodation in the workplace is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In California, the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) also provides extensive protections. These laws require employers to offer reasonable accommodations to qualified employees with disabilities unless doing so would cause undue hardship.
Key Features of the ADA and FEHA:
- Non-Discrimination: Employers cannot discriminate against individuals with disabilities in hiring, promotion, termination, or other aspects of employment.
- Reasonable Accommodation: Employers must provide adjustments or modifications to a job, work environment, or the way things are usually done to enable a person with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties, or enjoy benefits and privileges of employment.
- Interactive Process: Employers are required to engage in a timely, good-faith interactive process with the employee to determine effective accommodations.
Types of Accommodations
Accommodations can vary widely based on the individual’s needs and the nature of their job. Common examples include:
- Modifying work schedules
- Adjusting training materials or policies
- Providing assistive technology or ergonomic office equipment
- Modifying workstations or environments
- Allowing telecommuting or flexible work locations
Employer Obligations and Employee Rights
- Initiate the Interactive Process: Employers should take the initiative to discuss potential accommodations with employees who have disclosed a disability.
- Confidentiality: Maintain confidentiality regarding an employee’s disability and accommodation.
- Undue Hardship Consideration: Assess whether an accommodation would cause undue hardship, which involves significant difficulty or expense in relation to the size of the business, financial resources, and the nature of the operation.
- Right to Accommodation: If you have a disability, you are entitled to reasonable accommodations to perform your job.
- Advocacy: You have the right to advocate for accommodations that suit your needs, provided they do not impose an undue hardship on the employer.
- Legal Recourse: If you believe your rights under the ADA or FEHA have been violated, you may have legal recourse and should contact an experienced employment law attorney to review your situation.
How Ochoa & Calderón Can Help
At Ochoa & Calderón, our expertise in employment law positions us uniquely to assist employees in navigating the complexities of disability accommodations in Riverside. We offer comprehensive legal services including assistance in the interactive process for determining reasonable accommodations, as well as representation for employees facing discrimination or failure to accommodate.
Contact Ochoa & Calderón for Help With Workplace Accommodations in Riverside and Southern California
Understanding and implementing disability accommodations can be a complex process, but it’s crucial for a fair and inclusive workplace. If you’re an employee needing assistance with accommodations, Ochoa & Calderón is here to help. Contact us for expert legal guidance and support in all matters of California employment law. For a free consultation to discuss your needs, call 951-901-4444 in Riverside or 844-401-0750 for help throughout Southern California.