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Requesting Accommodations Now Protected Activity

By Thomas Lee

New Law: Requesting Accommodation Is Protected Activity Under the FEHA

In Rope v. Auto-Clor System of Washington, Inc. (2013) 220 Cal.App.4th 635 (discussed here), the plaintiff sued his former employer, alleging that it violated the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) by firing him after he requested leave from work to donate a kidney to his sister. The Court of Appeal held that the Plaintiff did not have a retaliation cause of action under the FEHA because his request for leave was not protected activity.

On July 15, 2015, Governor Brown signed AB 987, which reverses this holding. AB 987 (which can be read here) adds sub-sections (l)(4) and (m)(2) to Government Code sections 12940, providing that requests for reasonable accommodations on the basis of religion or disability is now protected activity, regardless of whether the request was granted.

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