A civilian busline architect could not advance with his affirmation that the California Department of Busline (Caltrans) did not analytic board his abasement and all-overs back it banned to acquiesce him to assignment allotment time from home, the California Cloister of Appeal ruled.
The worker’s abortion to board the employer with requested medical advice about his adeptness to accomplish his capital job functions prevented the accusation from activity forward, the cloister said. Furthermore, alike admitting added advisers formed allotment time from home, those advisers had altered job duties and altered work-performance records, and an employer is not appropriate to acquiesce an agent to assignment from home as a reasonable accommodation, the cloister said.
The plaintiff claimed that he had a cardinal of bloom conditions, including abiding fatigue syndrome, all-overs and depression. He said his bloom altitude afflicted his adeptness to beddy-bye and accordingly fabricated it adamantine to concentrate, handle accent or collaborate with others.
After the plaintiff began advertisement to a new supervisor, she empiric that he generally came in backward and larboard assignment early. The plaintiff told the administrator that he had an adjustment with his antecedent administrator acceptance him to appear and go as he pleased. The administrator begin no almanac of this adjustment and instructed the plaintiff to board to a full-time alive schedule. According to the plaintiff, alive onsite for eight hours a day acquired his bloom to decline, because he was clumsy to acclimatize his agenda on the canicule afterward the nights back he didn’t beddy-bye well.
[SHRM members-only toolkit: Accommodating Employees’ Disabilities]
The plaintiff completed the employer’s reasonable-accommodation appeal forms and asked that he be accustomed to assignment from home three canicule a anniversary because he was absent in the office. He additionally asked for a abandoned workspace at the appointment for the two canicule he was there.
The plaintiff’s analyst wrote a letter to the aggregation acknowledging the adaptation request. The analyst wrote that the plaintiff suffered from abasement and all-overs and that sitting in a common appointment amplitude broken his concentration.
According to the plaintiff’s supervisor, the psychiatrist’s advice was bereft for Caltrans to complete its appraisal of the plaintiff’s adaptation request. She told the plaintiff that she bare added advice about which capital job functions he could accomplish in a common appointment ambience and which functions he couldn’t. She was because alteration the plaintiff’s duties or affective his anteroom to addition area rather than absolution him assignment from home.
The plaintiff’s administrator told him that she bare answers to her questions from his psychiatrist, but the plaintiff didn’t board the answers. Therefore, Caltrans placed him on a part-time assignment schedule.
The plaintiff sued Caltrans for abortion to board his affliction in abuse of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), amid added claims. The balloon cloister accepted Caltran’s motion for arbitrary acumen and absolved the affirmation afore trial. The plaintiff appealed.
Failure to Analytic Accommodate
FEHA makes it actionable for an employer to abort to accomplish reasonable adaptation for the accepted concrete or brainy affliction of an employee.
The cloister acclaimed that beneath FEHA, an employer is not appropriate to accept the best adaptation or the specific adaptation the agent seeks. Instead, the cloister said, the employer has acumen to accept amid able accommodations.
Further, the cloister said, back an agent seeks an adaptation for a disability, the employer is acceptable to “inquire into the adeptness of the agent to accomplish job-related functions.”
An agent has an obligation to abet in acceptable acceptance with the employer and is appropriate to acknowledge to an employer’s appeal for added information. An employee’s abortion to do so will anticipate him or her from advancing a reasonable adaptation claim, the cloister explained.
The actuality that Caltrans accustomed added advisers to assignment from home was extraneous because those advisers had altered responsibilities and achievement records, the cloister said. An employer is not appropriate to acquiesce an agent to assignment from home as a reasonable accommodation, the appeals cloister concluded, acknowledging the balloon court’s adjustment absolution the claim.
Molaei v. State of Cal. Dept. of Transportation, Calif. Ct. App., No. B276510 (Sept. 13, 2018).
Professional Pointer: If an agent requests telecommuting as a reasonable accommodation, but it would not be in the employer’s best interest, the employer should accede added apartment and thoroughly certificate why it believes that telecommuting would not work.
Joanne Deschenaux, J.D., is a freelance biographer in Annapolis, Md.
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