Reasonable Accommodation

Sacramento Employment Lawyer

The Heart of the Matter – Making Employment Accessible

“Reasonable accommodations” – these two words sum up an employer’s duty toward job applicants and employees who have disabilities. This obligation, created by both federal and state laws, ensures that if you have a disability, you are given assistance in applying for a job or completing the tasks of your current job. An employer may not deny your request for reasonable accommodations without showing that the requested accommodation would create serious difficulties for him or her.

Have you requested a reasonable accommodation in order to apply for a job or complete your job tasks, only to have your employer say it would cost too much or be too difficult? Before you give up on your request, speak with a California reasonable accommodation lawyer. You may be entitled to legal relief, including a court order requiring the employer provide you with the requested accommodation and/or monetary damages.

What Are Some Examples of Reasonable Accommodations in California?

Your employer may provide you with reasonable accommodations to help you apply for a job or perform your job duties. The accommodations provided will be designed to help you complete the relevant task given your limitations. You can tell the employer what type of accommodation you need; if two or more specific accommodations would each enable you to apply for a job or perform your job tasks, your employer may decide which accommodation he or she will provide to you.

Accommodations might include:

  • Making your workspace or the building wheelchair-accessible;
  • Reconfiguring the office space so that you are able to move freely in a wheelchair without bumping into walls, drinking fountains, or other obstacles;
  • Providing you with someone to read an application to you, if you are blind;
  • Making tools, shelving, and supplies more accessible to you.

Employers should provide you with notice during the job application process as well as during the course of your employment that informs you of your right to request reasonable accommodations and how you can make your request known. Even if no such notification is provided, you may always inform the interviewer or your supervisor that you need reasonable accommodations. As much as is possible, try to describe for the employer what specific accommodation you need.

When Can an Employer Refuse to Provide a “Reasonable Accommodation”?

An employer does not have to provide a specific accommodation for you if the employer can show that providing the requested accommodation would cause an undue hardship for the business. An “undue hardship” occurs when an accommodation ends up being too costly or too difficult for the employer to provide.

An employer cannot claim an “undue hardship” exists simply because a requested accommodation would involve some cost; instead, whether an accommodation creates an undue hardship would depend on the nature of the accommodation(s) requested, as well as:

  • The employer’s business and facilities and how amenable they are to the requested accommodations;
  • The employer’s financial resources that it has available;
  • The employer’s assets and liabilities; and
  • Other relevant factors that would show the impact making the requested accommodation would have on the business’s continuity.

When To Speak with a California Reasonable Accommodation Lawyer

If you have requested a reasonable accommodation in order to apply for a job or perform a job task only to have your request denied, you may be able to seek help from the courts.

Contact my office, the Law Offices of Gay Carroll-Haring, at (916) 443-3553. I will review the facts and circumstances of your situation and advise you as to what rights you may have. We will then formulate a strategy designed to protect those rights.