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What rights do I have pertaining to my personnel files and records at work?

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California law provides that current and former employees (or a representative) have the right to inspect and receive a copy of the personnel files and records that relate to the employee’s performance or to any grievance concerning the employee. Inspections must not be later than 30 days from the date the employer receives a written request. Upon a written request, the employer needs to provide a copy of the personal records, at a charge not more than the actual cost of reproduction.

To facilitate inspection, employer must do all of the following:
1. Maintain a copy of each employee’s personnel records for no less than 3 years.
2. Make a current/former employee’s personnel records available, and if requested, provide a copy at the place where the employee reports to work or at another location agreeable to the employer and the requester.

However, by law, the right to inspect does NOT apply to: records relating to the investigation of a possible criminal offense, letters of reference, and ratings, reports, or records that were obtained prior to employment or obtained in connection with a promotional examination.

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in employment cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases.

Questions about your rights at the workplace? Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://employmentlawyersla.com/

How Does the Reasonable Accommodation Process Work?

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In the second part of a two-part series, we will explain how the Reasonable Accommodation process works.

In general, the reasonable accommodation requirement starts when the employer learns of the employee’s need for a change and that the need is related to a medical condition. The employee does not have to expressly say the words “I need a reasonable accommodation for my disability.” The employee simply needs to make a request for a change that will allow him or her to perform the essential job functions, and it needs to be noted that the request is due to a medical condition.

After an employer gets a request for a reasonable accommodation, the next step is to use an interactive process to determine whether the request will be granted. This process requires an interaction between the employer and employee to determine what reasonable accommodations the employer may be able to provide. This process does not have to be formal or even in writing. However, it may be best for the employer to document the interactions. The interactive process should clarify the individual’s needs and assess what accommodations might meet those needs.

The employer and employee may discuss possibilities of reasonable accommodations. Then the employer assesses which alternative might work best. Of course the employee should have input. However, the employee’s first choice of accommodation does not have to be the final selection if the employer can offer an alternative that still allows the employee to perform the essential functions of the job.

Note, the only reason an employer can deny a reasonable accommodation request is if it would present an undue hardship on the employer. An undue hardship could be financial, or it could mean that it is too disruptive to implement. However, the undue hardship standard is a very high threshold to cross. It takes into account the finances and performance of the company. That said, an employer is not obligated to remove essential job functions either. If the employee is unable to perform essential job functions and no reasonable accommodation exists, that employee may no longer be qualified to perform the job.

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in employment cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases.

Are you or anyone you know been discriminated at work? Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://employmentlawyersla.com/ if you have any questions regarding your rights at the workplace.

American with Disabilities Act: Reasonable Accommodations Only Need to Be Offered Upon Request

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An important court decision recently confirmed that an employer has no duty to offer reasonable accommodations to an employee with a disability until the employee specifically requests an accommodation. That’s true even when the employer is aware of the employee’s disability.

To establish an American with Disabilities Act (ADA) claim, an employee must show that he or she:
1. Has a disability as defined by the ADA,
2. Is qualified, with or without a reasonable accommodation, to perform the functions of his job, and
3. Suffered discrimination because of his disability.

The court found that before an employee can be deemed “not qualified” for his job, the employer must take an effort to accommodate his disability. However, the employee has a duty to request a reasonable accommodation. An employer is not required to offer an accommodation, even though he knows the employee is disabled under the ADA. The court stated that “it is not the employer’s responsibility to anticipate the employee’s needs and affirmatively offer accommodation.”

In making a request for an accommodation, the employee need not utter any magic words, nor must he say that he is request a reasonable accommodation. Furthermore, the request need not be in writing. However, the employee must make clear that he wants assistance for his disability. Also, the employee must be clear that he needs an accommodation for his disability.

PRACTICAL ADVISE: If you think you may need reasonable accommodation for your disability at your workplace, let your employer know as soon as possible.

Read More: http://goo.gl/8iIsz2

Are you or anyone you know been discriminated at work? Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://employmentlawyersla.com/ if you have any questions regarding your rights at the workplace.