California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI) (2017)

VF-2513. Disability Discrimination—Reasonable Accommodation—Failure to Engage in Interactive Process (Gov. Code, § 12940(n))

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VF-2513.Disability Discrimination—Reasonable
Accommodation—Failure to Engage in Interactive Process (Gov.
Code, § 12940(n))
We answer the questions submitted to us as follows:
1. Was [name of defendant] [an employer/[other covered entity]]?
1. Yes No
1. If your answer to question 1 is yes, then answer question 2. If
you answered no, stop here, answer no further questions, and
have the presiding juror sign and date this form.
2. Was [name of plaintiff] [an employee of [name of defendant]/an
applicant to [name of defendant] for a job/[other covered
relationship to defendant]]?
2. Yes No
2. If your answer to question 2 is yes, then answer question 3. If
you answered no, stop here, answer no further questions, and
have the presiding juror sign and date this form.
3. Did [name of plaintiff] have [a] [select term to describe basis of
limitations, e.g., physical condition] [that limited [insert major life
activity]]?
3. Yes No
3. If your answer to question 3 is yes, then answer question 4. If
you answered no, stop here, answer no further questions, and
have the presiding juror sign and date this form.
4. Did [name of plaintiff] request that [name of defendant] make
reasonable accommodation for [his/her] [e.g., physical condition]
so that [he/she] would be able to perform the essential job
requirements?
4. Yes No
4. If your answer to question 4 is yes, then answer question 5. If
you answered no, stop here, answer no further questions, and
have the presiding juror sign and date this form.
5. Was [name of plaintiff] willing to participate in an interactive
process to determine whether reasonable accommodation could
be made so that [he/she] would be able to perform the essential
job requirements?
5. Yes No
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5. If your answer to question 5 is yes, then answer question 6. If
you answered no, stop here, answer no further questions, and
have the presiding juror sign and date this form.
6. Did [name of defendant] fail to participate in a timely, good-faith
interactive process with [name of plaintiff] to determine whether
reasonable accommodation could be made?
6. Yes No
6. If your answer to question 6 is yes, then answer question 7. If
you answered no, stop here, answer no further questions, and
have the presiding juror sign and date this form.
7. Was [name of defendant]’s failure to participate in a good-faith
interactive process a substantial factor in causing harm to [name
of plaintiff]?
7. Yes No
7. [If your answer to question 7 is yes, then answer question 8. If
you answered no, stop here, answer no further questions, and
have the presiding juror sign and date this form.
8. What are [name of plaintiff]’s damages?
[a. Past economic loss
[lost earnings $ ]
[lost profits $ ]
[medical expenses $ ]
[other past economic loss $ ]
Total Past Economic Damages: $ ]
[b. Future economic loss
[lost earnings $ ]
[lost profits $ ]
[medical expenses $ ]
[other future economic loss $ ]
Total Future Economic Damages: $ ]
[c. Past noneconomic loss, including [physical
pain/mental suffering:] $ ]
[d. Future noneconomic loss, including [physical
pain/mental suffering:] $ ]
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[d. TOTAL $ ]
Signed: Presiding Juror
Dated:
After [this verdict form has/all verdict forms have] been signed, notify
the [clerk/bailiff/court attendant] that you are ready to present your
verdict in the courtroom.
New April 2009; Revised December 2009, December 2010, December 2016
Directions for Use
This verdict form is based on CACI No. 2546, Disability
Discrimination—Reasonable Accommodation—Failure to Engage in Interactive
Process.
The special verdict forms in this section are intended only as models. They may
need to be modified depending on the facts of the case.
Select a term to use throughout to describe the source of the plaintiff’s limitations.
It may be a statutory term such as “physical disability,” “mental disability,” or
“medical condition.” (See Gov. Code, § 12940(a).) Or it may be a general term
such as “condition,” “disease,” or “disorder.” Or it may be a specific health
condition such as “diabetes.”
If medical-condition discrimination as defined by statute (see Gov. Code,
§ 12926(i)) is alleged, omit “that limited [insert major life activity]” in question 3.
(Compare Gov. Code, § 12926(i) with Gov. Code, § 12926(j), (m) [no requirement
that medical condition limit major life activity].)
Do not include the transitional language following question 7 and question 8 if the
only damages claimed are also claimed under Government Code section 12940(m)
on reasonable accommodation. Use CACI No. VF-2509, Disability
Discrimination—Reasonable Accommodation, or CACI No. VF-2510, Disability
Discrimination—Reasonable Accommodation—Affırmative Defense—Undue
Hardship, to claim these damages.
If specificity is not required, users do not have to itemize all the damages listed in
question 8 and do not have to categorize “economic” and “noneconomic” damages,
especially if it is not a Proposition 51 case. The breakdown of damages is optional
depending on the circumstances.
If there are multiple causes of action, users may wish to combine the individual
forms into one form. If different damages are recoverable on different causes of
action, replace the damages tables in all of the verdict forms with CACI No. VF-
3920, Damages on Multiple Legal Theories.
There is a split of authority as to whether the employee must also prove that
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reasonable accommodation was possible before there is a violation for failure to
engage in the interactive process. (Compare Wysinger v. Automobile Club of
Southern California (2007) 157 Cal.App.4th 413, 424–425 [69 Cal.Rptr.3d 1 [jury’s
finding that no reasonable accommodation was possible is not inconsistent with its
finding of liability for refusing to engage in interactive process] with Nadaf-Rahrov
v. The Neiman Marcus Group, Inc. (2008) 166 Cal.App.4th 952, 980–985 [83
Cal.Rptr.3d 190] [employee who brings a section 12940(n) claim bears the burden
of proving that a reasonable accommodation was available before the employer can
be held liable under the statute].)
If the jury is being given the discretion under Civil Code section 3288 to award
prejudgment interest (see Bullis v. Security Pac. Nat’l Bank (1978) 21 Cal.3d 801,
814 [148 Cal.Rptr. 22, 582 P.2d 109]), give CACI No. 3935, Prejudgment Interest.
This verdict form may need to be augmented for the jury to make any factual
findings that are required in order to calculate the amount of prejudgment interest.
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