Bruce’s Summary: Be careful what you start, as an Employer, an exception may become a legally binding precedent. It appears that one Employer has opened that door and the court’s clarification of the FEHA’s pure language that, ““physical disability” in FEHA explicitly includes a person associated with a person with a disability.”
According to the authors, the court focused on “[a}n association with a physically disabled person is itself a disability under FEHA.” Therefore, “the disabilities that employer’s must accommodate include the employee’s association with a physically disabled person.”
How many times has the discovery of a supervisory initiated exception, (what’s the big deal) turned on an employer? Exceptions to policy, are just that, an exception and without proper review can become a lasting precedent the employer has to live with.
Key here is what does an employer say going forward when an accommodation request is to take a friend or neighbor to a doctor’s appointment? Now what is the Employer’s “duty to accommodate”? “None of the information contained herein should be construed as legal advice, nor are Calvin Associates consultants engaged to offer legal advice. If there is a need for legal advice, please contact and seek the advice of independent legal counsel.”