This post was authored by Sarah R. Lustig.

A recent case is a good reminder to employers that scent and chemical sensitivities can indeed be considered a disability subject to the protections of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and/or the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).  John Barrie (Barrie) suffers from allergic sensitivities

La_city_hwysFans of the late night television show Saturday Night Live probably have seen the recurring sketch called, “The Californians.”  “The Californians” is a soap opera, and the characters portray Californian stereotypes, such as poking fun at the way Californians speak and drive and their obsession over traffic.  One of the recurring jokes is that Californians

Leave RequestThis post was authored by Michael Youril.

Leaves of absences are one of the most complex and frustrating areas of personnel management that public agency employers face.  There are several complex, overlapping, and intersecting laws to apply and navigate.  In many situations, it is difficult for the agency to determine its rights and obligations.

Medical LeaveLast week, in Higgins-Williams v. Sutter Medical Foundation, the Court of Appeal of the State of California, Third Appellate District, upheld the trial court’s granting of summary judgment for an employer where it determined that an employee’s inability to work for a particular supervisor, because of anxiety and stress related to the supervisor’s standard

EEOC SealThe EEOC issued two informal discussion letters critiquing policies and forms used by unidentified public employers when making disability related inquiries of employees.  Although informal discussion letters are not “official” EEOC opinions, they provide guidance on an employer’s legal obligations.  In these informal letters, the EEOC reviewed the agencies’ fitness for duty exam forms and

Service DogEmployers navigate a morass of federal and state employment laws on a daily basis.  Some of the more vexing and confusing laws are those related to employees with disabilities.  Often it is difficult for employers to know whether an employee is disabled or what the disability could be.  Questions that frequently arise concern whether an

Businesswoman on Videoconference with BusinessmanThis was the very question the U.S. Court of Appeals in Ohio was asked to consider in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Ford Motor Company.  The issue in this case is whether a telecommuting arrangement could be a reasonable accommodation for an employee suffering from a debilitating disability.  In a 2-1 split opinion, the

Retirement-Sign.jpgThis blog post was authored by Connie Almond

More than 2/3 of the discrimination claims filed in California allege disability as the protected category at issue.  California’s complex disability laws are compounded for public agencies by constitutional due process requirements and PERS and ’37 Act requirements which are triggered when the public agency is contemplating

AnotherGavel.jpgIt pays to read statutes carefully. Many statutes authorizing lawsuits for employment discrimination allow an award of attorney’s fees to the prevailing party. Almost uniformly, these statutes have been construed as authorizing an award of attorney’s fees to a prevailing plaintiff as a matter of course but only to a prevailing defendant when the lawsuit