Reassignment as a Reasonable Accommodation
California's Fair Employment and Housing Act requires employers with five or more employees to provide a reasonable accommodation to employees who have a physical or mental disability unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the employer. A "reasonable accommodation" can take many forms, including reassignment to a vacant position. If you are seeking reassignment to a vacant position as a reasonable accommodation, here are five things that you should know:
1. An employer is required to look for other suitable vacant position within the organization or company and determine whether the employee is interested in, and qualified for, such positions, if any of the following conditions exist: (a) the employee can no longer the perform essential functions of his/her own job; or (b) accommodating the employee in his/her current job creates an undue hardship; or (c) both the employer and employee agree that a reassignment is preferable to an accommodation in the employee's current position; or (d) the employee requests reassignment in order to gain access to medical treatment for his/her disabling condition and that medical treatment is not easily accessible at the current location.
2. An employer is not required to create a new position for the employee; nor is it required to promote the employee.
3. If there are no funded, vacant comparable positions for which the employee is qualified with or without a reasonable accommodation, an employer may reassign the employee to a lower graded or lower paid position.
4. The employee is entitled to preferential consideration for vacant positions over other applicants and other employees. However, an employer is typically not required to ignore a bona fide seniority system, absent a showing by the employee that ignoring the seniority system was reasonable under the circumstances, such as where the employer reserves the right to modify its seniority system or allows variations to its seniority system.
5. An employer make ask the employee to provide information about the employee's education and work experience in order to find a suitable vacant position for the employee.
If you have questions about reasonable accommodations under California law, call ((916) 612-0326) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) Finley Employment Law today. We serve clients throughout California, including Sacramento, Roseville, Walnut Creek, San Ramon, and Concord.
The information in this blog post is for general informational and advertising purposes only and is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Instead, you should speak with a California employment attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.