Generally, employees in California have a right to receive a reasonable accommodation from their employer if they qualify for an adjustment to the work environment or job duties due to disability, religion, pregnancy, or other reason.
Under California law, several types of employees can request a reasonable accommodation from their employer to adjust their work conditions or job duties to make it possible to perform their duties at work.
“Would requesting to move your office to some beach in Hawaii qualify as a reasonable accommodation?” some of you may wonder. Well, probably not. Under California law, employees have a right to request a reasonable accommodation from their employer under the following conditions:
- An employee is disabled, which makes it impossible for him or her to work in a work environment designed for employees without disabilities.
- An employee is disabled or pregnant or has any medical condition that requires him or her to take time off of work.
- An employee seeks a reasonable accommodation of their religious practices and observances.
- A pregnant employee needs more rest breaks.
- An employee with substance abuse problems may have a right to request a reasonable accommodation in order to be able to participate in alcohol or drug rehabilitation programs.
Under California law, employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees when the latter request a reasonable accommodation (such as in situations outlined above).
Our Los Angeles retaliation attorney explains that an employer in California commits wrongful termination or discrimination if they fire or discriminate against an employee for requesting a reasonable accommodation at work.
How to request a reasonable accommodation from your employer?
Generally, employees in California have a right to make a request for a reasonable accommodation during the application or hiring process as well as in the course of employment (if an employee becomes disabled, gets pregnant, or finds out about his/her need for accommodation during the course of employment).
If the request for a reasonable accommodation needs to be made during the course of employment, an employee must provide the employer with notice explaining why the current work conditions or job duties make them unable to perform their duties, and outline what type of accommodation they are looking for. The notice may be accompanied by a doctor’s note detailing the employee’s condition and what medical restrictions are necessary.
“If your employer requests additional medical information and documentation after you request a reasonable accommodation, do not take it personally,” says our experienced retaliation attorney in Los Angeles at JML Law. “This is a normal procedure, and your employer has every right to find out more about your disability or condition before approving your request.”
What to do if your request for accommodation is denied or you face retaliation?
While many workers in California think that a request for a reasonable accommodation must be communicated to the employer in writing, this is not always true. In fact, you can communicate your request orally, though putting the request in writing preferred, because it can be used later on to show that your employer failed or refused to provide you with a reasonable accommodation despite your requests.
Unreasonable and unnecessary delays in responding to or implementing a reasonable accommodation request violate California’s employment law. Any retaliatory acts or adverse employment actions against an employer for requesting a reasonable accommodation are prohibited by law.
Speak to a Los Angeles retaliation attorney from JML Law to find out more about your legal options if your employer denied your request for a reasonable accommodation or retaliated against you. Contact our JML law offices for a free case evaluation. Call at 818-610-8800.