People who happen to have disabilities want what we all want: to be happy, find success and to prosper. Often those goals include pursuing a career. Depending on the type of disability a person has, working outside the home can be difficult. It can be even more difficult if a person’s employer doesn’t have the facilities available to let a disabled person thrive in the workplace.

Both federal and California state law require that employers make the necessary accommodations to allow disabled people to be successful at their jobs.

Applicable law

Federally, Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) addresses the rights of employees with disabilities. It is governed at the state level by California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act.

The ADA states that individuals with a disability must “have an equal opportunity not only to get a job, but successfully perform their job tasks to the same extent as people without disabilities.”

California law goes even further and “requires an individualized assessment of both the job and the specific physical or mental limitations of the individual that are directly related to the need for reasonable accommodation.”

What are reasonable accommodations?”

The law requires that employers provide “reasonable accommodations” for their employee employees with disabilities. Reasonable accommodations include but are not limited to the following:

  • Installing ramps
  • Modifying restrooms
  • Making workspaces more accessible
  • Altering work duties
  • Providing medical leave
  • Scheduling flexibly 
  • Providing accessibility aids, such as closed captioning, braille and sign-language interpreters

Facing discrimination?

If you or a loved one with a disability is having difficulty getting your employer to accommodate for your needs, you may wish to seek legal counsel. It is your right to be able to succeed in your career, and the law may be on your side.