Failing to Request a Reasonable Accommodation

In California, employers of five or more are subject to reasonable accommodation rules. If you need an adjustment to your job or workplace in order for you to fulfill the essential duties of your current job, you should request that adjustment of your employer. The ensuing discussion is usually not adversarial; both you and your employer have an interest in your success.

Disclosing More than You Care To

You are never required to disclose the existence of a disabling condition in the workplace, except when requesting a reasonable accommodation. Even then, your employer can only request the documentation that is needed to establish the existence of a disability and the need for reasonable accommodation. In most situations this means they cannot request your entire medical record.

Lack of Clarity on Job-Related Personal Assistance

Workplace personal assistance may or may not qualify as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA or California's Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). In general, workplace personal assistance services may be considered a reasonable accommodation if the assistance is job-related and not primarily for your personal benefit.

Not Identifying All Available Funding Sources

Workplace personal assistance services may be:

Consider all possibilities when deciding how to get the services you need. In some cases, a mix of funding is the right approach.

Working More Because You've Transferred IHSS Hours to the Workplace

If you are enrolled in Medi-Cal's IHSS program, you need to continue to meet income and asset requirements. Working additional hours, because you are able to transfer IHSS hours to the workplace, could cause your income to increase thereby putting you above income and/or asset requirements. If this occurs, you may want to consider enrollment in the Working Disabled Program (WDP); this program allows you to earn up to $61,720 annually (in some cases, even more) and maintain Medi-Cal.

Not Knowing Your Rights

Under AB 925, if you utilize California’s In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program, you can use some of your IHSS hours in the workplace, under certain circumstances.

Confusing New Rights with New Benefits

Though AB 925 authorizes the use of IHSS hours to provide personal assistance services in the workplace, it explicitly does not increase the number of such hours available to any individual. The current maximum allowable number of service hours per month remains 283.

Confusion about Personal Assistance Accompaniment

Current rules allow IHSS hours to be used for personal assistance accompaniment under some circumstances, but not others.
Current Rules on use of IHSS Hours for Personal Assistance Accompaniment
Allowed
Disallowed
  • To and from medical appointments;
  • To attend training
    offered or required by employer.
  • To and from work;
  • To attend college classes;
  • To attend vocational training.