Tag Archives: Disability

New California Disability and Leave Laws – Are You Ready for 2018?

With the turn of the year comes a wave of new California disability and leave laws.  Employers should review their existing policies and procedures to determine if they will be in compliance with these new laws—many of which will go into effect on January 1:  To read more please visit this article at our Disability, … Continue Reading

Employee Who Failed to Provide Additional Doctor Notes to Support New Restrictions May Still Survive Summary Judgment

Last week, in Thomsen v. Georgia-Pacific Corrugated, LLC, a federal district court in California held that an employer might have violated its obligations under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) when it simply told an employee to return to his doctor to obtain a note outlining additional work restrictions.   The Court held that a … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Expands FEHA’s Reasonable Accommodation Requirements to Employees Who are Associated with a Person with Disabilities

In Castro-Ramirez v. Dependable Highway Express, Inc., decided April 4, 2016, the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District held California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees who are associated with a person with disabilities. Plaintiff Luis Castro-Ramirez’s son was in need of a kidney transplant, required … Continue Reading

An Employee’s Request for a Disability or Religious Accommodation Is Considered Protected Activity Under Change to the Fair Employment and Housing Act

Effective January 1, 2016, an employee’s request for an accommodation for a disability or for religious reasons is considered to be “protected activity” for a retaliation claim under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”).… Continue Reading

Court Holds Adjustment Disorder Triggered by Stress at Work Is Not a Disability

A California appellate court recently held that an employee diagnosed with an adjustment disorder triggered by stress caused by her supervisor’s standard oversight of her job performance is not disabled under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”). Higgins-Williams v. Sutter Medical Foundation, 2015 Cal.App.LEXIS 455 (May 26, 2015). In so doing, the court … Continue Reading

Removing Essential Job Functions Not Reasonable Disability Accommodation Under California Law, Court Rules

Affirming summary judgment in favor of an employer on an employee’s disability discrimination claims under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”), the California Court of Appeal has ruled that the employer was not required to eliminate essential functions of a position as a reasonable accommodation. Nealy v. City of Santa Monica, No. B246634 … Continue Reading

Reasonable Accommodation’s Mandate in Employment Statute Does Not Require Employer to Cut Essential Job Functions

On January 21, 2015, a California Appeals Court affirmed the trial court’s ruling in Nealy v. City of Santa Monica, 2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 139 (February 13, 2015) granting summary judgment for the City of Santa Monica (“City”) on claims of disability discrimination, failure to provide reasonable accommodation, failure to engage in the interactive process, … Continue Reading

Court Rules School District Should Have Done More to Accommodate Teacher Battling Cancer

In December 2014, the California Court of Appeal (“Court”) found that Morongo Unified School District’s (“School District”) failure to reassign a disabled teacher to her preferred position raised a triable issue of fact.  Swanson v. Morongo Unified School Dist. (Cal. App. Ct. 12/23/14), Case No G050290.  In doing so, the Court reversed the School District’s … Continue Reading

Undocumented Worker Not Barred from Asserting Discrimination Claims

In Salas v. Sierra Chemical Co., No. S196568 (Cal. June 26, 2014), the California Supreme Court has ruled that federal immigration law did not preempt California law extending employee protections and remedies “regardless of immigration status,” except to the extent it authorized damages for any period after the employer’s discovery of an employee’s ineligibility to … Continue Reading

Settlement Agreements May Trap the Unwary Employer for Court Costs, California Court Instructs

Ambiguity in settlement agreements can sabotage finality and certainty as a recent California decision shows. Where a settlement agreement is silent regarding litigation costs, an employee may obtain mandatory costs as the prevailing party under state law as the settlement proceeds constituted the required “net monetary recovery,” the California Court of Appeal has ruled. DeSaulles … Continue Reading

New Bill Expands Scope of Paid Family Leave Law

On September 24, 2013, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that expands the application of the Family Temporary Disability Insurance program beginning on July 1, 2014. Family Temporary Disability Insurance is also known as Paid Family Leave. Paid Family Leave is a paid benefit provided by California Employment Development Department (“CA EDD”) … Continue Reading

Support Dogs and Other Animals in the Workplace

California employers should be prepared to welcome support dogs and other animals into the workplace as a reasonable accommodation for disabled workers requiring support under new disability regulations issued by the California Fair Employment and Housing Commission. The new regulations significantly expand protections for disabled workers and outline new requirements regarding reasonable accommodations, the interactive … Continue Reading

SB 1186: New California Law Regarding Disability Access Lawsuits

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law a bi-partisan measure that seeks to curb rampant, frivolous Americans with Disabilities Act access lawsuits in the state and expand access to businesses for those with disabilities.  This is good news for California businesses.  The state reportedly has 12 percent of the country’s disabled population, but 40 … Continue Reading

Termination for Misconduct Involving Violent Acts or Threats of Violence Caused by a Disability Was Found to Be Lawful

A recent California Appellate Court upheld an employer’s right to terminate an employee for misconduct involving violent acts or threats of violence even if caused by a disability under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”). In Wills v. Superior Court., No. G043054 (4th Appellate District April 13, 2011), the Court dismissed the employee’s … Continue Reading
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