Legal Question in Disability Law in California

Applicant Testing

Applicant unable to read due to learning disability. Employer requires written test. How do we accommodate?

Asked on 12/10/07, 5:21 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Michael Kirschbaum Law Offices of Michael R. Kirschbaum

Re: Applicant Testing

Is reading essential to perform the job? Can the job be performed by verbal insructions? Why is a written test necessary?

The job duties must be broken down to what is essential and what is not, and the employer should look at what can be done to accommodate those essential duties by other means, as long as no undue hardship is done to the company. These are fact specific cases, so it is not possible to give a more specific answer to such a general question.

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Answered on 12/10/07, 6:00 pm

Terry A. Nelson Nelson & Lawless

Re: Applicant Testing

"Reasonable" accommodation must be made for "disabilities". That means permanent physical or mental conditions that substantially limit a person's ability to do the job. If this is part of a limiting mental condition that the person has, possibly requiring accommodation, then you'd have to analyze whether he could substantially perform all the essential elements of the job if you did offer accommodation. If the job requires reading, as many do, he wouldn't be able to do the job, thus you wouldn't have to hire him.

There, now you've had your law school education. If you're a real risk taker, you'll make these decisions on your own instead of getting competent legal advise when needed. If so, the risks are yours to take. You're not getting actual legal advice on this forum, nor anywhere else, without establishing a legitimate attorney-client relationship. Do so, it is more cost effective to do things right in the beginning, rather than pay huge litigation expenses later because of poor decisions.

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Answered on 12/10/07, 6:31 pm

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