Amended Disability Regulations: The California Fair Employment and Housing Commission Clarifies “Interactive Process” for Disabled Employees

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Employment and Housing Commission (“FEHC”). These regulations clarify an employer’s obligation to provide reasonable accommodations for disabled employees and applicants, and emphasize that employers must engage in a prompt, good faith interactive process in order to reduce the risk of liability. Under its “Statement of Purpose,” the FEHC states that the regulations “are to be broadly construed to protect applicants and employees from discrimination due to an actual, perceived or potential physical or mental disability, or medical condition.”

The amended regulations expressly downplay the importance of determining whether an employee actually has a disability, by specifically stating that the “primary object of attention in cases brought under the [Fair Employment and Housing Act] should be whether covered entities have complied with their obligations and whether discrimination has occurred, not whether the individual meets the definition of disability, which should not require extensive analysis.”

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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