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Expensive Disability Accommodation Lesson

Caltrans in Nevada County learned the hard way that you cannot ignore an employee disability accommodation requests. More importantly, you can’t retaliate against an employee for requesting an accommodation. An article in the Sacramento Bee provides many of the details. I’ve written several articles regarding the importance of proper accommodation policies and procedures in the workplace. […]


Two Disability Accommodation Cases to Consider

I recently had the opportunity to advise several clients—both employers and employees—regarding their rights and obligations when it comes to a disability accommodation. It is an area that is frequently misunderstood. It’s no wonder so many employers make correct disability accommodations for employees with disabilities. The following two published cases are good examples of how […]


Inability to Work Under Particular Supervisor Not a Disability

A California court recently reaffirmed that the inability to work under a particular supervisor because of anxiety and stress related to the supervisor’s standard oversight of job performance—is not a disability recognized under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA; Gov. Code, § 12900 et seq.). Higgins-Williams worked as a clinical assistant for Sutter Medical Foundation’s Shared […]


Disability Discrimination Plaintiff Not Required to Prove Ill Will

Sheriff’s Deputy Dennis Wallace brought a disability discrimination case against the County of Stanislaus (County) under FEHA (Government Code section 12940) after the County removed him from his job as bailiff and placed him on an unpaid leave of absence.  Wallace wanted to continue doing his job, but the County believed Wallace could not safely […]


Employing Private Household Caregivers

Practical Considerations for Employing Private Household Caregivers Last June, Bender’s California Labor & Employment Law Bulletin published an article I co-wrote with a colleague, Carmela Woll, regarding employing private household caregivers. The article contains a lot of useful information for employers and employees to consider when hiring or working as a caregiver, and is similar […]


Employee Benefit Plans

I oftentimes get questions about employee benefit plans, such as health insurance plans and retirement plans. ERISA laws–the Employee Retirement Income Securities Act–govern employer provided benefit and welfare plans. Although I can answer some basic questions about ERISA plans, and have even litigated a couple of cases with ERISA issues, I rely on experienced ERISA […]


I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King, Jr.

As we remember the life and assassination of a great leader, I thought it poignant to recall Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered August 28, 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. His words are an inspiration, and a reminder that although we’ve made great progress toward equality, we […]


Celebrate the New Year

As we enter the new year, I want to thank my colleagues, clients, friends and family who made 2016 such a success. I opened my Pleasanton office a little more than a year ago. With your support and encouragement, I continue to help my clients resolve their workplace issues. It has been a great year, […]