Los Angeles, Calfornia Disability Defenses

The Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the government agency that administrates the Fair Employment and Housing Act has written the following regulation about defenses to disability discrimination in employment.

Please do not rely on this article for legal advice. The experienced labor attorneys at the Employment Lawyers Group can help you determine how these laws, and other laws, fit into your particular employment situation. Call 1-877-525-0700 to speak to a qualified employment lawyer at our firm who has handled many disability discrimination cases in employment.

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Health or Safety of an Individual With a Disability


It is a permissible defense for an employer or other covered entity to demonstrate that, after engaging in the interactive process, there is no reasonable accommodation that would allow the applicant or employee to perform the essential functions of the position in question in a manner that would not endanger his or her health or safety because the job imposes an imminent and substantial degree of risk to the applicant or employee.

Health and Safety of Others


It is a permissible defense for an employer or other covered entity to demonstrate that, after engaging in the interactive process, there is no reasonable accommodation that would allow the applicant or employee to perform the essential functions of the position in question in a manner which that would not endanger the health or safety of others because the job imposes an imminent and substantial degree of risk to others.

Future Risk


However, it is no defense to assert that an individual with a disability has a condition or a disease with a future risk, so long as the condition or disease does not presently interfere with his or her ability to perform the job in a manner that will not endanger the individual with a disability or others.

Factors to be considered when determining the merits of the defenses enumerated in Section 7293.8, subdivisions (b)-(d) include, but are not limited to:


  1. (1) the duration of the risk;
  2. (2) the nature and severity of the potential harm;
  3. (3) the likelihood that potential harm will occur;
  4. (4) the imminence of the potential harm; and
  5. (5) consideration of relevant information about an employee’s past work history.

The analysis of these factors should be based on a reasonable medical judgment that relies on the most current medical knowledge and/or on the best available objective evidence.