California employers are required by federal and state law to make reasonable accommodations for their employees who have certain disabilities. Unfortunately, not all employers do so, leaving the disabled unable to do their jobs correctly and ultimately discriminating against their disabled workforce.
What are reasonable accommodations?
Title I of the Americans With Disabilities Act defines reasonable accommodations as modifications that enable disabled people to get and perform a job o the same extent as those without disabilities. Reasonable accommodations required by the ADA include:
- Ensuring equal opportunity in the application process
- Enabling those with disabilities to perform essential job functions
- Offering equal benefits and privileges to disabled people
Workplace discrimination due to disability issues generally occurs during the application process or when employers don’t update their premises to accommodate those bound to a wheelchair or when they refuse to incorporate assistive technologies.
How your employer should accommodate your disability
The type of reasonable accommodation depends on your disability. Installation of wheelchair ramps and similar accommodations are the most visible types, but employees who have hearing problems or who are legally blind need other accommodations and may experience discrimination due to disability issues in a veiled manner. Among the practices that could be used to combat this are:
- Office layout modifications
- Using videophones
- Having accessible computer software
- Providing sign language interpreter
- Making braille communications available
- Allowing service animals
- Modifying schedules so that employees with chronic conditions can get to doctor appointments
Requiring employers to accommodate you
Often, workers who have been injured on the job or in other circumstances during their employment suffer veiled employment discrimination that companies must address. If you feel that you are being forced out of your position due to your disability or your employer simply refuses to accommodate, consulting an experienced lawyer can help.