The Employee's Right to Accommodation
By Corey Hanrahan
California law is clear, an employer is required to provide reasonable accommodation to a qualified employee suffering from a disability. The employer’s notice of an employee’s disability triggers its duty to take positive steps to accommodate the employee’s limitations. Once an accommodation is made, it must be effective.
“…If the employer knows that an accommodation is failing to allow the employee to perform his or her job, the employer is required to explore further arrangements…”
If the employer knows that an accommodation is failing to allow the employee to perform his or her job, the employer is required to explore further arrangements. So, an employer’s duty to accommodate an employee does not end when it provides an accommodation to that employee. Instead, it continues when the employer becomes aware that the accommodation is not effective in allowing the employee to perform his or her job.
In certain circumstances, the reasonable accommodation may be holding a job open for a disabled employee who needs time to recuperate or heal. This would be the case if it appeared likely that the employee would be able to return at some time in the foreseeable future. If the employee is entitled to a leave of absence as an accommodation, there is no fixed limit on the length of leave entitlement as an accommodation (unlike the strict time limits set for for leave pursuant to the California Family Rights Act).