Following the diagnosis of a debilitating disease, many in California and elsewhere decide to continue working as long as they are able. However, as a condition progresses, it may be necessary for ailing employees to seek reasonable accommodations in order to do their jobs. Employees may be victims of disability discrimination if their employers refuse to make those accommodations.
One man worked as a patient advocate for a system of teaching and research hospitals in another state when he received the devastating diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. Three years later, his symptoms compelled him to request accommodations from the administration. Specifically, his illness made it increasingly difficult to remember deadlines and keep track of his projects. He asked that his case management system be moved to an Excel program and that his supervisor notify him of deadlines through calendar invites on Outlook.
Failure to accommodate
Less than a year after the man made his requests for accommodations, the institution terminated him, alleging that he forgot to update a patient call log. The man insists he did update the log. Additionally, not only did the administration refuse to modify his case management system, saying it was an unreasonable request, but the Outlook reminders came inconsistently. The administration never offered other accommodations, such as extended deadlines.
An employee who qualifies for reasonable accommodations because of a disability is protected under the law. Those in California who face hardships at work because an employer refuses to make reasonable accommodations may wish to take action through the civil courts. They have options open to them, and it is wise to explore those options with the help of a skilled attorney.