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3 Laws Entitling California Applicants to Reasonable Accommodation in the Workplace

By Edited Feb 10, 2014 0 0

A disabled job seeker in California should not be worried about employment discrimination because there are certain laws protecting and recognizing his or her need not to be judged based on his or her medical condition. In California, federal and state laws are advocating the employment rights of applicants with disabling physical or mental condition. Because of this, employers must never discriminate against applicants based on their disability.

There are at least three laws protecting the rights of disabled applicants in the State of California, and these are:

1. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Under the provisions of ADA, it is unlawful for California-based employers to discriminate against applicants who have disability. ADA defines “disability” as: "a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity."

Pursuant to the Act, employers with 15 or more employees are not allowed to discriminate against qualified job seekers based on their disability. Furthermore, covered employers are requested to provide reasonable accommodation to applicants or employees with disability. Reasonable accommodation may include modifying job functions, work schedule, work duties, and providing disabled-friendly equipment.

2. Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA)

California’s FEHA strictly prohibits employers with five or more employees to refrain from discriminating against job applicants due to their disability. Additionally, just like ADA, FEHA also directs employers to provide reasonable accommodations to disabled applicants. However, the said Act does not require employers to choose unqualified disabled applicants over qualified able applicants.

3. Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)

In accordance with GINA, employers with 15 or more workers are not allowed to discriminate against applicants based on their genetic or family medical history. The Act defines “genetic information” as: any information concerning a person’s genetic tests or medical history of his or her family about disabling condition, disease, or disorder.

Pursuant to GINA, an applicant’s genetic information cannot be used by employers to make any employment decision. The reason for this is that a person’s genetic information does not provide any information about his ability to work.

A California job applicant who believes that he or she has experienced employment discrimination based on his or her disability may file a formal complaint with California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). Additionally, affected applicants may also forward a complaint with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Victims of disability discrimination in the workplace may seek legal consultation with a Los Angeles employment lawyer to learn the proper steps to take. Although hiring an employment attorney is not required, it is suggested because he or she may provide legal assistance for people who are not well-aware of their employment rights.

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