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Los Angeles Reasonable Accommodation Attorney

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Every person has the right to work regardless of any hindrances in their life that are caused by difficult obstacles. When an employee has a disability that prevents them from performing essential job functions, California and Federal disability laws require employers to make “reasonable accommodations” for employees with disabilities or serious medical conditions. Reasonable accommodations are required if they do not pose an undue hardship on the employer.

Undue hardships are defined as accommodations that impose a significant cost on the employer or present a significant difficulty in providing the accommodation. If the employer fails to provide the accommodations, and there are no undue hardships, then you have a right to file a claim against the employer through a Los Angeles employment attorney.

Disability Discrimination

Employment discrimination can occur in many different ways, including instances that are based on race, gender, religion, age, and pregnancy. Disability is an often-overlooked form because, for those who are considered “able-bodied,” it is easy to take for granted many everyday tasks or the tools used to accomplish those tasks.

In employment law, a disability is defined as a condition that limits major life activities. These types of activities include:

  • Walking
  • Eating
  • Working
  • Performing physical tasks and activities
  • Engaging in social interactions

If the condition stems from a mental disability, a physical disability, or a medical condition such as cancer or a genetic condition, then they qualify for protection.

If these conditions are the result of sexual behavior disorders, the use of narcotics or psychoactive substances, or addictive disorders such as gambling or compulsive stealing, then the employee is not covered under the protective laws.

Requesting Reasonable Accommodations

Employers are also required to engage in the “interactive process” with its employees as soon as they are on notice that an employee may need some form of accommodation. This process involves the efforts of both the employee and the employer. The employer must assist in locating appropriate accommodations and ensure that they are doing their part to assist in the performance of everyday job functions.

Once the accommodation has been requested, employers have an obligation to work on the request in good faith and in a timely fashion. Additionally, if the employer can observe the disability, or someone else notifies them of your disability, then you do not have to file a request for accommodations. Your employer has an obligation to be proactive in creating the necessary accommodations.

Reasonable Accommodations

Reasonable accommodations are the adjustments that are made to an employee’s job by the employer that allow the employee to complete the essential functions of their job. To determine the essential functions of a job and how essential a job is, the law considers:

  • The job description
  • The duties of the job
  • Any applicable training materials that are essential to the job
  • If there are any other employees in a similar situation
  • The specialization of the job being performed
  • The number of other employees that perform the job
  • If the purpose of the job is to perform that specific function

Evidence to help prove that reasonable accommodations are necessary includes the following:

  • An employee’s work history in positions that are similar
  • The amount of time spent on specific job functions
  • The description of the job
  • What happens if the job’s function is not completed

Examples of reasonable accommodations include:

  • Providing additional medical leave (separate and apart from FMLA/CFRA leave)
  • Reducing work hours
  • Job duties restructuring
  • Allowing more breaks
  • Providing a more flexible work schedule (for example, time off for medical appointments)
  • Physical changes to the work site
  • Providing special equipment for an employee

Most people, and even many employers, don’t know that in addition to disability leave many employers must also continue to reasonably accommodate their employees’ disabilities. This accommodation can include additional time off, restricted duties, a change in duties, etc.

Denial of Reasonable Accommodations

While the law protects employees with disabilities, there are also protections in place for employers. If the reasonable accommodation causes an undue hardship on the place of business, then there are grounds to deny the claim. If the employer would face a significant hardship or expense to make the accommodation, then they are not obligated to provide it. It is not, however, as easy as claiming a hardship to be able to deny the claim. To prove that there is a genuine hardship, an employer must:

  • Show evidence of the true cost of the accommodation.
  • Prove the size of the business, including the number of employees and the financial resources available.
  • Provide the structure of the business.
  • Explain the specifics of the company’s operations.
  • Show how personnel interact within the company’s facilities.

It is also important to understand that the employee with the disability must request the accommodations that they need to perform the duties of the job. If they do not, and the result is poor performance, there may be grounds for termination.


Q: What Is Considered a Reasonable Accommodation in California?

A: Any accommodation that is provided for an employee with a mental or physical disability that aids in their completion of essential functions of the job is considered a reasonable accommodation. However, reasonable accommodations do not include the creation of a new position or changing the essential functions of the job.

Q: What Is the Burden a Plaintiff Must Prove in a Reasonable Accommodation Case?

A: To win a reasonable accommodation claim, the plaintiff must prove that:

  • A disability exists
  • The defendant knew (or should have known about) the disability
  • The accommodation is necessary to provide an equal opportunity to complete the essential function of the job
  • The requested accommodation is reasonable
  • The defendant was denied reasonable accommodation

Q: How Long Should It Take to Finalize a Request for Reasonable Accommodation?

A: While each situation is unique to the circumstances presented, the average request for reasonable accommodations should take less than twenty days to finalize. There may be extenuating circumstances that could delay the decisions, which could include gathering appropriate medical documentation. Generally, a reasonable accommodation should be reached as quickly as possible.

Q: What Factors Must Be Considered When Determining If an Accommodation Is an Undue Hardship?

A: Undue hardships are those that require significant difficulty and resources. Determining if a reasonable accommodation is feasible is dependent on an employer’s:

  • Size
  • Resources
  • Nature
  • Structure

While an employer has the right to refuse the accommodation under these circumstances, they must show evidence to support the denial. If an employer is genuinely unable to provide reasonable accommodations, they will not be required to do so.

Reasonable Accommodation Attorney

Living with a disability can add unique challenges to your life, but it should not mean you have to forfeit your ability to work and be successful at your job. Working with your employer to seek reasonable accommodations is well within your rights. At the Shirazi Law Firm, P.C., we understand these rights and know how to help you hold your employer accountable if those rights are not protected. If you or someone you know has been fired or mistreated because of their disability or fired while on disability or pregnancy leave, please contact us for a free confidential consultation.

Cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, meaning we only get paid after you do. Consultations/communications can be virtual if preferred.

“Emanuel Shirazi went above and beyond on my case. My employer treated me so unfairly and I felt like I had no where to turn. I met with Emanuel and he told me: I’ve got your back. This guy is a pit bull who never stops fighting for his clients. So glad he was on my side and not vice versa. Trust me, Emanuel won’t let you down.”


Rhonda is an African-American woman who had dedicated almost a decade of hard work to her Employer. She was a stellar worker and held a position in upper management. Rhonda has Multiple Sclerosis (MS), a disabling disease attacking the central nervous system.

Rhonda ends up taking an FMLA/CFRA medical leave and additional medical leave (reasonable accommodation) due to her first debilitating MS flare up since working for her employer. Once Rhonda’s medical condition was improving, her doctor cleared her to return to work with minor temporary work restrictions.

To Rhonda’s surprise, just 3 days before she was to return to work, she was summarily terminated without notice because the company would not “accommodate” her work restrictions. Summarily telling an employee they are fired is not a good faith interactive process. Further, the employer did not even bother to look for another temporary position for Rhonda. This is also in violation of California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).

Rhonda was also subjected to differential treatment because of her race. She was falsely accused of hiring someone for racial reasons, solely because both were African-American.

If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated, retaliated, or discriminated against based on a protected category such as physical or mental disability or medical condition, give us a call at 310-294-8773 for your free intake.

Cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, meaning we only get paid after you do. Consultations/communications can be virtual if preferred.

“I cannot recommend Mr. Shirazi enough! I was wrongfully terminated from my long term job. I didn’t know where to turn and found Mr. Shirazi. He took the time to talk to me for an hour explaining what legal rights I had. Upon hiring Mr. shirazi he kept me up to date on every step and was honest and upfront with me. He worked miracles and got me a great settlement. Mr Shirazi handles only employment cases and his expertise was invaluable to my case. if you find yourself in need of an employment attorney, Mr. Shirazi is the one to call.”



Founder Emanuel Shirazi is an employment lawyer in Los Angeles representing employees who have been legally wronged by their employers. In addition to representing employees, Mr. Shirazi used to defend employers while he worked at the largest employment law firms in the country. Thus, Mr. Shirazi knows the tricks of the trade of the other side and will use that to your advantage in your case. Mr. Shirazi’s experience helps him anticipate your employer’s defense and prepare accordingly.