Governor Signs Assembly Bill No. 987 – Requesting a Reasonable Accommodation is Protected Activity under FEHA

by Lizbeth (Beth) V. West
The Labor & Employment Law Blog

This bill was in direct response to the decision in Rope v. Auto-Clor System of Washington, Inc. (2013) 220 Cal.App.4th 635 (2013), which found that an employee who merely makes a request for an accommodation does not engage in protected activity for purposes of a FEHA retaliation claim.  Under this bill, the Government Code is amended to make clear that a request for reasonable accommodation based on religion or disability constitutes protected activity under Section 12940 of the Government Code, such that when a person makes such a request, he or she is protected against retaliation for making the request.  Pursuant to the new law, the Legislature intends: (1) to make clear that a request for reasonable accommodation on the basis of religion or disability is a protected activity; and (2) provide protection against retaliation when an individual makes a request for reasonable accommodation under FEHA, regardless of whether the request was granted.