Reasonable Accommodation

Seyfarth Synopsis: On March 4, 2021, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”) provided some much needed clarity in its updated COVID-19 Related Guidance. The Guidance answers many pressing questions for employers regarding COVID-19, including the all-important question: Can employers mandate their employees to get a vaccine?

In short, yes, California employers may require their employees to
Continue Reading Updated DFEH Guidance on Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policies

Seyfarth Synopsis: In a simpler time, courts reviewing medical cannabis laws issued employer-friendly decisions, generally finding no duty to accommodate medical cannabis even when state laws allowed its use for medical purposes. Now, however, the tide is rapidly turning. Where does California employment law currently stand on cannabis? Below we address burning issues regarding accommodations and drug testing.

What is
Continue Reading Cannabis in California: High Time to Smoke Out the Issues

Seyfarth Synopsis: Sometimes even the best employees can have their woebegone days. How is an employer to distinguish between (1) a mental disability that may require accommodation and (2) a case of someone “having the Mondays”? In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, we offer some therapeutic antidotes for your queries on tackling mental illnesses at work.

In
Continue Reading Employer Web Therapy: Accommodating Employee Mental Health Illness

Seyfarth Synopsis: It has long been clear that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and California law protect employees who suffer from alcoholism if it qualifies as a “disability.” Although courts have recognized the right of an employer to have legitimate work rules that prohibit alcohol use in the workplace, the line between having a protected disability and engaging
Continue Reading Addressing Alcoholism in the California Workplace

Seyfarth Synopsis: When must an employer provide leave time in addition to FMLA/CFRA-type leave as a reasonable accommodation? The answer to that question, as with many other leave-related questions, may depend on your location on the map.

Remember that early TV sitcom “Leave It To Beaver,” starring Jerry Mathers as the Beaver? “The Beave” constantly got into trouble
Continue Reading Leave It To California – Post FMLA/CFRA/PDL Leave and FEHA

Seyfarth Synopsis: A proposed bill would amend California employment discrimination law to protect medical marijuana users.

California—already famous (or infamous) as a sanctuary in the immigration area—could soon become a sanctuary for medical marijuana users. A proposed bill would protect medical marijuana users from employment discrimination.

Currently, California employers can deny employment to users of marijuana, even if the use
Continue Reading Into the Weeds: Will California Employment Law Protect Medical Marijuana Users?

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Court of Appeal, on rehearing, has superseded a 2016 decision that employers must reasonably accommodate work restrictions because of the disabilities of the employee’s associates. The superseding opinion recognizes that employers have no established duty to provide accommodations because of the disability of an employee’s associates.

Seyfarth’s One Minute Memo readers will recall that we reported, back
Continue Reading Something We Said? Court Backs Off Accommodation Duty For Associational Disability

Our guest author, Lisa Hart, is a highly-trained double certified coach and member of the International Coach Federation who enjoyed a successful legal career on Wall Street as a litigator for 20+ years. Lisa excels at helping attorneys and other high performers find greater success and satisfaction, personally and professionally.  She can be reached through her website for a complimentary sample session. While her views do not necessarily reflect those of the authors or Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Ms. Hart offers a thoughtful perspective worthy of careful consideration.

Yahoo!’s recent decision to ban its work-at-home program raised concern for some about the future of telecommuting.  The good news is that most companies offer some sort of work-at-home arrangement because doing so is positively correlated with higher retention rates, lower absenteeism, and greater productivity and employee satisfaction.  Still, working at home can be challenging for both employer and employee.  The following guidelines will help both sides design telecommuting arrangements that are effective, productive and mutually satisfying.

1.    Design a Workable Plan.

Employees: You need to meet professional responsibilities and goals.  Consider what support elements you need in place in order to do that.  What are your employer’s expectations and needs?  Are there weekly meetings that you’ll need to attend in person?  Don’t commit to an arrangement that you know you’ll have difficulty sustaining. 
Employers:  Depending on your company’s size, consider telecommuting guidelines and/or policies for the sake of ease, managing  expectations and ensuring consistency in approach.


Continue Reading Making Working from Home “Workable”

What’s the latest in telecommuting?  If you have many employees who rely on their ability to work from home, you probably were interested to hear of a change in trend in telecommuting.  Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer caused an uproar when it was leaked to the public that the company’s “work-from-home” policy was being revoked.  People seemed shocked that such a


Continue Reading So I Have to Get Dressed and Come to Work? The “Work-at-Home” Debate Continues, but What About “Reasonable Accommodation” Obligations?