What are the essential functions of a job?

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) requires employers to provide a reasonable accommodation for an individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of the job unless it would cause an undue hardship on the employer. Common reasonable accommodations include changing job duties for the position, allowing a leave of absence for medical care, modifying work schedules, or providing mechanical or electrical aids. An employer may discharge an employee with a physical disability or medical condition where the employee, because of that physical disability or medical condition, “is unable to perform his or her essential duties even with reasonable accommodations, or cannot perform those duties in a manner that would not endanger his or her health or safety or the health or safety of others even with reasonable accommodations.” (Gov. Code § 12940, subds. (a)(1), (a)(2).) The issue in many reasonable accommodation and disability cases…

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