Labor and Employment Law

Ca. Labor & Emp't Rev. March 2021, Volume 35, No. 2

MCLE Self-Study: Associational Reasonable Accommodations? Definitely Maybe!

By Jacob Nalbandyan and Kelly (Ka In) Chan

Co-founder of Levin & Nalbandyan, LLP, partner Jacob Nalbandyan heads the civil litigation department focused on labor and employment law. He argued for plaintiff-appellant in Castro-Ramirez v. Dependable Highway Express, Inc., an associational disability discrimination case. Kelly (Ka In) Chan is a member of the employment litigation department at Levin & Nalbandyan, LLP, where she practices labor & employment law. Passionate about justice, she works hard to make sure her clients get rightfully compensated, and volunteers in multiple legal clinics.


As associational disability discrimination laws take shape in California, we must familiarize ourselves with their interplay with related reasonable accommodation and interactive process laws. This is particularly pressing in light of the current lack of guidance from California courts. To examine the state of affairs pertaining to the latter two in the context of associational disability, this article will look at the relevant statutes and the cases related to associational disability discrimination. By dissecting relevant cases and the underlying statutes, the authors conclude that because associational disability discrimination protections exist, so must related protections against the failure to reasonably accommodate and participate in an interactive process.

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