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Reasonable accommodation requirements under FEHA

Last updated: November 19, 2023

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) is a comprehensive law that provides extensive protections against discrimination in employment and housing. Under FEHA, employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities or medical conditions.

This article will discuss the reasonable accommodation requirements under FEHA in the state of California.

Reasonable Accommodation Requirements Under FEHA

Employers must make sure that they comply with all applicable laws when it comes to providing reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities or medical conditions. To do this, employers must have knowledge about the legal requirements imposed by FEHA on them regarding reasonable accommodation in California. It is important to note that failure to comply may result in significant penalties from the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).

It is estimated that one in every five Americans has a disability. In California, the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) requires employers to provide reasonable accommodation requirements under FEHA for employees with disabilities.

Reasonable accommodation refers to any change or adjustment to a job or work environment that will enable an individual with a disability to effectively perform their duties. This can include changes such as providing accessible furniture, modifying existing equipment, making adjustments to the physical structure of the workplace, providing additional breaks, and offering flexible working hours. Additionally, employers are expected to provide assistance in finding alternative solutions if needed.

Reasonable accommodation is not only important when considering accessibility but also provides opportunities for people with disabilities by allowing them equal access to participate in activities which they may have been previously excluded from due to their disability status. Furthermore, it ensures that individuals with disabilities can contribute meaningfully while avoiding discrimination based on their ability level. The importance of reasonable accommodation is highlighted by its inclusion under FEHA’s anti-discrimination law; this means all employers must comply in order to avoid legal repercussions.

Application And Scope Of FEHA

The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) in California applies to employers with five or more employees, including a joint employer. FEHA is administered by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), which enforces the law's reasonable accommodation requirements for protected classes such as age, religion, gender identity, race, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability and medical condition.

Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations unless it would impose an undue hardship on their business operations. An example of a reasonable accommodation could include providing additional time off for religious observance or allowing flexible scheduling for childcare needs.

DFEH also requires that all job postings list any known qualifications or other factors necessary for performing the job; this helps ensure equal employment opportunities regardless of whether someone has a protected characteristic. In addition, employers must not require applicants or employees to waive their rights under FEHA; nor can they retaliate against any individual who exercises these rights. Taking action to prevent discrimination and harassment protects both employers and employees alike from potential legal liability under state law.

Employer Obligations Under FEHA

California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for individuals who are members of a protected class. These include physical or mental disabilities, medical conditions, religious beliefs, gender identity and expressions, sexual orientation, race, age, marital status and national origin. Employers must make these accommodations unless doing so would result in an undue hardship on their business operations.

When it comes to providing reasonable accommodation under FEHA, employers have certain obligations they must meet. First and foremost is that the employer should take into account the needs of the individual employee when determining what type of accommodation is necessary.

This could involve making changes to job duties or work schedules as well as providing appropriate equipment or other resources that can help with any disability-related issues. Additionally, employers must also ensure that all employees receive equal access to opportunities within their organization regardless of their protected characteristic status. Lastly, an important obligation employers must adhere to is not retaliating against any employee who requests a reasonable accommodation due to a disability.

Employee Rights To Reasonable Accommodations

According to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, in 2020 nearly 9 out of 10 requests for reasonable accommodation were approved. This statistic highlights the right granted by the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) to employees with disabilities seeking reasonable accommodations. The FEHA is a state law that protects individuals from discrimination based on disability or medical condition while they are employed in California.

In order to qualify as an employee protected under FEHA, the individual must be able to demonstrate that their disability substantially limits one or more major life activities. Reasonable accommodation is any modification or adjustment employers make to ensure equal opportunity for disabled employees in all aspects of employment, including job application procedures, work environment and performance evaluation criteria. Examples may include providing wheelchair access at work locations; making facilities accessible; modifying furniture; allowing flexible scheduling; granting additional unpaid leave time; providing interpreters or special equipment; changing job duties; reassigning positions when needed due to disability; and permitting telecommuting arrangements.

Employers have an obligation under the FEHA to provide reasonable accommodations upon request unless it would present an undue hardship on the employer's operations. If a requested accommodation will cause an undue burden, then employers are required to explore alternative options that do not impose such a burden.

Employers who fail to comply with this requirement can face legal action brought forth by either the affected employee or DFEH itself. Therefore, understanding these regulations concerning reasonable accommodation is essential for both employers and employees alike in ensuring compliance with relevant legislation.

FEHA’s Importance For Providing Critical Protection To Employees

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) provides critical protections for employees in the workplace. FEHA requires employers to provide reasonable accommodation requirements under FEHA for qualified individuals with disabilities. The requirement of reasonable accommodation is essential in protecting the rights of those with disabilities in California’s workplaces.

By understanding their obligations under FEHA as well as recognizing employee rights relating to reasonable accommodations, employers can ensure compliance while avoiding potential penalties associated with discrimination based on disability status.

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Zoey Appleton
Zoey has worked with Cheri for years and has been creating the best articles not only for Disability Help but for our readers. Her job hits close to home for she has a brother with special needs. She hopes to see science and technology pave the way for a better life, with Disability Help to cover it and share it with those that need it.
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