Governor Brown recently signed an amendment to California’s anti-discrimination law, the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), to protect employees who seek reasonable accommodation for their disabilities or religion. The amendment responds to the holding of a California Court of Appeals decision in Rope v. Auto-Chlor that held requesting reasonable accommodation was not “protected activity” for purposes of a retaliation lawsuit under FEHA.
In Rope, the plaintiff requested reasonable accommodation and was fired a short time later. The Court of Appeals, however, found that requesting accommodation did not constitute “opposition” to discrimination and dismissed the plaintiff’s retaliation claims.
The new amendment fixes this by prohibiting employers from terminating employees simply because they request reasonable accommodation. The amendment may be found here.