CACI No. 2542. Disability Discrimination - “Reasonable Accommodation” Explained

Judicial Council of California Civil Jury Instructions (2023 edition)

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2542.Disability Discrimination - “Reasonable Accommodation”
A reasonable accommodation is a reasonable change to the workplace
that [choose one or more of the following]
[gives a qualified applicant with a disability an equal opportunity in
the job application process;]
[allows an employee with a disability to perform the essential duties
of the job;] [or]
[allows an employee with a disability to enjoy the same benefits and
privileges of employment that are available to employees without
Reasonable accommodations may include the following:
a. Making the workplace readily accessible to and usable by
employees with disabilities;
b. Changing job responsibilities or work schedules;
c. Reassigning the employee to a vacant position;
d. Modifying or providing equipment or devices;
e. Modifying tests or training materials;
f. Providing qualified interpreters or readers; or
g. Providing other similar accommodations for an individual with a
If more than one accommodation is reasonable, an employer makes a
reasonable accommodation if it selects one of those accommodations in
good faith.
New September 2003; Revised April 2009, June 2012
Directions for Use
Give this instruction to explain “reasonable accommodation” as used in CACI No.
2541, Disability Discrimination - Reasonable Accommodation - Essential Factual
Elements. For discussion regarding the burden of proof on reasonable
accommodation, see the Directions for Use to CACI No. 2541.
Sources and Authority
Employer Obligation to Make Reasonable Accommodation. Government Code
section 12940(m).
“Reasonable Accommodation” Defined. Government Code section 12926(p).
“Reasonable Accommodation” Defined. Cal. Code Regs., tit. 2, § 11068(a).
“Substantial” Limitation Not Required. Government Code section 12926.1(c).
“[T]he duty of an employer to provide reasonable accommodation for an
employee with a disability is broader under the FEHA than under the ADA.”
(Bagatti v. Department of Rehabilitation (2002) 97 Cal.App.4th 344, 362 [118
Cal.Rptr.2d 443].)
“[A]n employer who knows of the disability of an employee has an affirmative
duty to make known to the employee other suitable job opportunities with the
employer and to determine whether the employee is interested in, and qualified
for, those positions, if the employer can do so without undue hardship or if the
employer offers similar assistance or benefit to other disabled or nondisabled
employees or has a policy of offering such assistance or benefit to any other
employees.” (Prilliman v. United Air Lines, Inc. (1997) 53 Cal.App.4th 935,
950-951 [62 Cal.Rptr.2d 142].)
“The question now arises whether it is the employees’ burden to prove that a
reasonable accommodation could have been made, i.e., that they were qualified
for a position in light of the potential accommodation, or the employers’ burden
to prove that no reasonable accommodation was available, i.e., that the
employees were not qualified for any position because no reasonable
accommodation was available. [¶¶] Applying Green’s burden of proof analysis to
section 12940(m), we conclude that the burden of proving ability to perform the
essential functions of a job with accommodation should be placed on the
plaintiff under this statute as well.” (Nadaf-Rahrov v. The Neiman Marcus
Group, Inc. (2008) 166 Cal.App.4th 952, 977-978 [83 Cal.Rptr.3d 190], internal
citations omitted.)
“Under the FEHA . . . an employer is relieved of the duty to reassign a disabled
employee whose limitations cannot be reasonably accommodated in his or her
current job only if reassignment would impose an ‘undue hardship’ on its
operations or if there is no vacant position for which the employee is qualified.”
(Spitzer v. Good Guys, Inc. (2000) 80 Cal.App.4th 1376, 1389 [96 Cal.Rptr.2d
Secondary Sources
Chin et al., California Practice Guide: Employment Litigation, Ch. 7-A, Title VII
And The California Fair Employment And Housing Act, 7:213 (The Rutter Group)
Chin et al., California Practice Guide: Employment Litigation, Ch. 9-C, California
Fair Employment And Housing Act (FEHA), ¶¶ 9:2091, 9:2093-9:2095, 9:2197,
9:2252, 9:2265, 9:2366 (The Rutter Group)
1 Wrongful Employment Termination Practice (Cont.Ed.Bar 2d ed.) Discrimination
Claims, § 2.79
2 Wilcox, California Employment Law, Ch. 41, Substantive Requirements Under
Equal Employment Opportunity Laws, § 41.51[3][a], [b] (Matthew Bender)
11 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 115, Civil Rights: Employment
Discrimination, § 115.35 (Matthew Bender)
California Civil Practice: Employment Litigation § 2:50 (Thomson Reuters)

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