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San Diego Accommodations and Leaves Attorney

Employees facing disabilities or medical conditions often require reasonable accommodations or leaves of absence to continue working productively. However, obtaining the appropriate accommodations or leave can be challenging without legal guidance. This is where an experienced accommodations and leaves lawyer can make all the difference. At Hamparyan Law Firm, our qualified employment attorneys assist clients in securing accommodations and leaves in California workplaces. We have extensive knowledge of state and federal laws like the ADA, FMLA, and FEHA protecting employee rights. If your accommodation or leave request has been wrongly denied, we can advise and represent you in enforcing your rights. Contact us at (619) 550-1355 for a free consultation with our accommodations and leaves lawyers.

Understanding Key Employment Laws on Accommodations and Leaves

Several critical laws at both federal and state level in California mandate that employers provide reasonable accommodations and leaves of absence in certain qualifying situations. As per one source, the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers with 15 or more employees to make reasonable accommodations for applicants and employees with disabilities. Another federal law, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) enables eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave for medical or family reasons. California state law also has robust protections such as the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) which prohibits discrimination and harassment while also requiring reasonable accommodations for employees with physical or mental disabilities among other protected characteristics.

The ADA Interactive Process for Securing Accommodations

Under the ADA, employers and employees must engage in a flexible, collaborative interactive process to determine effective, reasonable accommodations that allow the employee to perform their job duties. As per guidance from the EEOC, key elements of this process include:

  • The employee requesting an accommodation and communicating with the employer
  • The employer considering the request and discussing alternatives
  • An agreement reached on an effective accommodation

Appropriate documentation from your doctor will be needed to show your disability and requirement for accommodations. Maintaining open communication with detailed information makes it more likely the process succeeds. If the employer denies a valid request without due process or reasonable basis, their actions may constitute an ADA violation.

Using FMLA and CFRA Leave Protections

In addition to disability accommodations, employees dealing with serious medical situations may also need extended leaves of absence. Federal FMLA and state CFRA leave laws enable workers to take unpaid, job-protected time off for:

  • Recovering after childbirth or adoption
  • Caring for a spouse, child or parent with health condition
  • Managing employee’s own serious injury or illness

As per the DOL, employees are eligible for FMLA leave if they:

  • Have worked over 12 months for employer
  • Logged at least 1250 hours over the past 12 months
  • Work at a location with 50+ employees within 75 mile radius

If eligible, you can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave within a 12 month period under FMLA. The job protection clauses require the employer to reinstate you to an equivalent position. Interference with FMLA rights could constitute a violation.

What Is Considered a Disability in San Diego California?

When it comes to reasonable accommodations and leave rights in San Diego workplaces, employees must have an eligible disability to qualify under the law. But what conditions legally constitute a disability?

Federal ADA Definition

Under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of an individual. This includes functions like walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, concentrating, thinking etc.

California FEHA Expanded Definition

California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) uses a broader definition of disability. FEHA considers conditions that limit a major life activity or just the perception of such an impairment to qualify as a protected disability. So conditions like obesity, disfigurement, controlled diseases, or temporary injuries may still meet FEHA’s disability criteria for accommodations in San Diego workplaces – even if they may not qualify under federal ADA guidelines. Determining disability status can be complex. Our employment attorneys can advise if your medical condition or impairment meets the legal disability definitions in California. We can then help secure accommodations under ADA, FEHA or other relevant laws.

What Is Considered A Reasonable Accommodation in San Diego?

When employees request workplace accommodations for a disability under the ADA or FEHA, California employers must provide “reasonable” accommodations that do not cause undue hardship. But what constitutes a reasonable accommodation?

Examples of Reasonable Accommodations

Some examples of accommodations San Diego employers may need to provide include:

  • Allowing flexible start and end times to accommodate medical treatments
  • Providing ergonomic office equipment for an employee with back issues
  • Allowing a part-time or modified schedule for limited periods
  • Making adjustments to job duties that an employee cannot physically perform
  • Allowing employees to work from home if feasible

Undue Hardship Considerations

As per California’s FEHA regulations, factors considered in evaluating undue hardship imposed by an accommodation request include:

  • Overall size and financial resources of the employer
  • Type and location of workplace facilities involved
  • Accommodation’s impact on business operations
  • Number of employees and facilities impacted

Documented proof of undue hardship may allow an employer to deny accommodation, but the burden is generally high in California. Consult our attorneys on ensuring any denied accommodation request meets legal standards. We can also advise on appealing wrongful denials to enforce your accommodation rights.

Finding Legal Recourse For Denials and Violations

If you face wrongful denial of a reasonable accommodation or leave request, there are a few legal avenues to contest the decision:

File Administrative Complaints

You can submit a charge with the EEOC at federal level or California’s DFEH alleging disability discrimination or failure to accommodate under ADA.For FMLA complaints, contact the federal DOL or California’s DLSE. These agencies will investigate the complaints and may be able to reach a settlement.

File an Employment Lawsuit

If the administrative approach does not resolve the issue, an employment lawyer can help you file a lawsuit under ADA or FMLA alleging:

  • Failure to provide reasonable accommodations
  • Failure to properly engage in interactive process
  • Retaliation for requesting accommodations
  • Interfering with FMLA rights

Lawsuits enable you to claim monetary damages and recover attorneys’ fees from the employer in some cases.

How an Accommodations and Leaves Lawyer Can Help

Trying to negotiate accommodations or leaves without legal counsel puts employees at a significant disadvantage. Employers may outright deny valid requests or engage in “bad faith” conduct during the interactive process.An accommodations and leaves lawyer levels the playing field by:

  • Advising on the best approaches to secure accommodations and leaves
  • Helping communicate with employers using appropriate legal standards
  • Ensuring proper documentation is provided
  • Appealing wrongful denials through administrative agencies or lawsuits
  • Negotiating severance agreements if employment is terminated

At Hamparyan Law Firm, our experienced employment attorneys have helped numerous clients obtain accommodations and leaves while also recovering damages for ADA and FMLA complaints. Contact us at (619) 550-1355 for a free consultation.

Building Your Case With the Right Evidence

As an employee requesting accommodations or leave, you need to be strategic in compiling documentation that supports your claim under ADA, FMLA or FEHA. Key evidence needed includes:

Disability and Need for Accommodations

  • Medical records, treatment notes showing disability
  • Doctor letters affirming disability and functional limitations
  • Letters from doctor explaining required accommodations

Employer’s Adverse Actions

  • All communication with employer related to request
  • Formal request submitted for accommodations/leave
  • Employer’s written denial of request
  • Notes from interactive discussions if applicable
  • Records of disciplinary actions, termination notices

Mitigating Impact on Job Performance

  • Positive performance reviews and work history
  • Examples of successfully performing primary duties previously
  • Offers to provide other information needed in process
  • Requests for alternate accommodations or leave types

Thoroughly tracking this information chronologically can help prove your case if the employer violates ADA, FMLA or FEHA guidelines around accommodations and leaves.

Understanding Remedies Available For Violations

There are various civil remedies defined in federal and state laws that accommodations and leaves lawyers can obtain for qualifying employees wronged by non-compliant employers:


Judges can order employers to reinstate employees to their same or comparable position after returning from wrongfully denied leave.

Back Pay

You may get awarded back pay covering lost wages while terminated or absent from work due to unlawful denial of accommodations or leave.

Compensatory Damages

These cover tangible losses suffered due to failure to accommodate, interference with leave, or retaliation – such as medical costs, impaired credit, moving expenses etc.

Punitive Damages

If employer exhibited malice or reckless indifference about your rights, you can recover additional punitive damages as punishment.

Attorneys’ Fees

In some cases, especially lawsuits, judges order employers to pay all attorneys’ fees and litigation costs related to enforcing your ADA or FMLA rights.Recoverable amounts vary based on case specifics. Our accommodations and leaves lawyers can provide guidance on likely outcomes.

Accommodation Considerations During Reinstatement

Employees reinstated after wrongfully denied leave or accommodations may require additional considerations:

Pay and Benefits

Ensure employer resumes full pay, health coverage and retirement benefits without penalties for gap in work history.

Schedule and Location

Request for alternate shifts, telework options or location transfers if needed to facilitate return to work.

Gradual Transition

Ask for reduced hours or light duty assignments as you transition back to full workload after recovery.

Updated Accommodations

Submit new accommodation requests through interactive process if needed based on changed condition.

Anti-Retaliation Protection

Closely document any harassment, discrimination or adverse actions post-return and report promptly.Staying vigilant against retaliation and proactively addressing reintegration needs is vital for employment success after reinstatement.

Avoiding Employer Retaliation After Complaints

A significant risk employees face after legally asserting their ADA and FMLA rights is retaliation from the employer. This may involve:

  • Demotion to lower role or responsibilities
  • Sudden disciplinary write-ups pretext for firing
  • Harassment from supervisors making work environment hostile
  • Constructively terminating employment by forcing resignation

As per one analysis, over 50% of EEOC complaints allege employer retaliation.Strategies employees can adopt to minimize retaliation risks include:

  • Maintaining detailed documentation of events
  • Communicating through company channels, not informally
  • Avoiding social media commentary on situation
  • Reporting suspected retaliation promptly

If you face retaliation after requesting an accommodation or leave, contact our attorneys immediately to explore legal options. We can help shield your rights.

Frequently Asked Questions About Accommodations and Leaves Lawyers

When should I contact an accommodations and leaves lawyer?

You should reach out to an accommodations and leaves lawyer if your employer has:

  • Denied your request for reasonable accommodations for a disability
  • Failed to properly engage in the ADA interactive process to determine accommodations
  • Denied you FMLA or CFRA leave that you qualify for
  • Retaliated against you for requesting accommodations or leave

Involving legal counsel early when you suspect violations of your rights can help resolve issues faster and minimize damages. Our lawyers can advise and represent you in enforcing your rights under ADA, FMLA, FEHA and other relevant laws.

How much does it cost to hire an accommodations and leaves lawyer?

Most employment law attorneys work on a contingency fee basis when it comes to failure to accommodate or leave denial cases. This means that instead of paying hourly legal fees, you pay a percentage of any final settlement or court award. Rates typically range from 30% to 40% of total recovery. We also provide free initial consultations, so you can understand your rights and options at no cost before deciding on legal representation.

What laws protect my rights to accommodations and leave from my employer?

The main federal laws governing workplace accommodations and leaves are the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). These mandate that covered employers provide eligible workers reasonable accommodations for disabilities and several weeks of job-protected leave for medical reasons. California state laws like FEHA and CFRA add additional worker protections around discrimination, reasonable accommodation, family and medical leave beyond federal statutes. Our lawyers can advise which specific laws apply to your employer.

What remedies can I get with the help of an accommodations and leaves lawyer?

With skilled legal help, you can potentially recover a range of civil remedies from employers violating accommodations and leave laws:

  • Reinstatement to your prior or an equivalent job
  • Back pay for lost wages during absence from work
  • Compensatory damages covering actual losses suffered
  • Punitive damages in some cases
  • Attorney’s fees expended to enforce your rights

The exact remedies pursued will depend on the specifics of each case. Our experienced attorneys will evaluate your situation and provide guidance on likely outcomes.

Will hiring an accommodations and leaves lawyer negatively impact my career?

It is illegal under federal and most state laws for employers to retaliate against employees for exercising their workplace rights. Hiring a lawyer to assist in obtaining accommodations or leaves is a protected right. If the employer does try to demote, harass or fire you, skilled counsel can help you fight back. We also advise employees on discreetly involving legal counsel when needed to avoid retaliation risks initially. With practical guidance, most employees can obtain accommodations or leaves without damaging careers long-term.

What types of cases do accommodations and leaves lawyers handle?

Accommodations and leaves lawyers assist employees facing situations where employers violate legal obligations around providing reasonable accommodations and leaves of absence. Typical cases involve:

  • Wrongful denial of requests for accommodations related to a disability
  • Failure to properly engage in the ADA interactive accommodation process
  • Interference with taking job-protected medical leave under FMLA or CFRA
  • Retaliation after employees request accommodations or leaves

Issues With Your Employer Regarding Absence And Disability Accommodation At Work? Schedule A Free Consultation With Our reasonable accommodation Lawyer Today At Hamparyan Law Firm

Obtaining accommodations and leaves to address disabilities or serious medical needs while preserving your job can be an uphill battle without legal support. Employers often fail to fulfill ADA, FMLA and FEHA requirements around the interactive process and providing appropriate accommodations or leaves. By leveraging experienced accommodations and leaves lawyers to engage with your employer, you can better secure your federal and state rights.

Should you face wrongful denials or retaliation, skilled counsel can craft an enforcement strategy using administrative agencies or litigation. Significant remedies are available under various laws if statutory violations occur. To discuss your own situation and accommodation or leave needs confidentially, schedule a free consultation with our attorneys at Hamparyan Law Firm by calling (619) 550-1355 today. Our legal team has the expertise to guide you through this process successfully.


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