Disability Accommodations for California Employees

Disability discrimination in the workplace is illegal in California.


Disabled people are classified as a protected group. This ensures that employers cannot refuse to hire new workers or terminate current employees based solely on the employee's or potential employee's disability. Employers must make fair provisions for workers with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Failure to do so can result in legal ramifications under California disability laws, especially employers.


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Disabilities As California Law Defines Them


In California, you are deemed disabled if you have a disorder that limits one or more main life activities, such as breathing, seeing, walking, caring for yourself, working, socializing, reading, eating, digesting, listening, speaking, and so on.


Developmental defects, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental impairment, or particular learning disabilities are examples of physical or mental disabilities. They can be obvious, such as being wheelchair-bound, using a cane, being disfigured, or getting a body part amputated, or they can be subtle, such as cardiac attacks, respiratory problems, depression, anxiety, stomach problems, sleep apnea, and so on.


An impairment or weakness must be or be regarded as longstanding or permanent to be considered a debilitating disorder. The California Family Rights Act or the Family and Medical Leave Act can provide leave for temporary disabilities.


What Employment Rights Do You Have?


A disabled person who is otherwise eligible (has the schooling, training, or other qualifications needed by the job) to perform the critical job functions, with or without accommodations, must be treated equally with all other applicants and/or employees.


The essential job functions are those that the work necessitates. A firefighter's critical job roles, for example, include the ability to sprint, raise, and hold. Pilots, on the other hand, need sight as a valid occupational skill qualification. An individual who is unable to perform these tasks due to a disability is not otherwise eligible.


Discrimination Against People with Disabilities in California


The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), which was enacted in 1974 in California, protects disabled workers from workplace discrimination. The federal equivalent is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA describes the word "disability" as a "physical or mental deficiency that can significantly restrict one or more essential life activities."