Sec. 12179 - Denial of Reasonable Accommodation

ยง 12179. Denial of Reasonable Accommodation

(a) A requested accommodation may be denied if:

(1) The individual on whose behalf the accommodation was requested is not an individual with a disability;

(2) There is no disability-related need for the requested accommodation (in other words, there is no nexus between the disability and the requested accommodation);

(3) The requested accommodation would constitute a fundamental alteration of the services or operations of the person who is asked to provide the accommodation;

(4) The requested accommodation would impose an undue financial and administrative burden on the person who is asked to provide the accommodation; or

(5) The requested accommodation would constitute a direct threat to the health or safety of others (i.e. a significant risk of bodily harm) or would cause substantial physical damage to the property of others, and such risks cannot be sufficiently mitigated or eliminated by another reasonable accommodation, pursuant to the following:

(A) A determination that an accommodation poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others or would cause substantial physical damage to the property of others must be based on an individualized assessment that relies on objective evidence, not on mere speculation or stereotype about the requested accommodation or a particular disability or individuals with disabilities in general;

(B) The assessment of whether the specific accommodation in question poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others or would cause substantial physical damage to the property of others must be based on objective evidence, and not unsubstantiated inferences. The evidence must be sufficiently recent as to be credible. The assessment must consider:

(i) The nature, duration, and severity of the risk of a direct threat to the health and safety of others or of substantial physical damage to the property of others;

(ii) The likelihood that a direct threat to the health or safety of others or substantial physical damage to the property of others will actually occur; and

(iii) Whether there are any additional or alternative reasonable accommodations that will eliminate the direct threat to the health or safety of others or substantial physical damage to the property of others; or

(6) If a support animal, as defined in subsection 12005(d)(1), is requested as a reasonable accommodation, the request may be denied if it would constitute a direct threat to the health or safety of others or would cause substantial physical damage to the property of others under Section 12185(d)(9).

(b) The determination of whether an accommodation poses an undue financial and administrative burden under subsection 12179(a)(4) must be made on a case-by-case basis and must consider various factors including:

(1) The cost of the requested accommodation;

(2) The financial resources of the person or persons who have a duty under the Act to provide the accommodation;

(3) The benefits that a proposed alternative accommodation would provide to the individual with a disability;

(4) The availability of alternative accommodations that would effectively meet the disability-related needs of the individual with a disability;

(5) Where the entity being asked to make the accommodation is part of a larger entity, the structure and overall resources of the larger organization, as well as the financial and administrative relationship of the entity to the larger organization. In general, a larger entity with greater resources would be expected to make accommodations requiring greater effort or expense than would be required of a smaller entity with fewer resources; and

(6) Whether the need for the accommodation arises from the owner's failure to maintain or repair the property as required by law or contract, or to otherwise comply with related legal obligations.

(c) A fundamental alteration under subsection 12179(a)(3) is a requested accommodation that would change the essential nature of the services or operations of the person being asked to provide the accommodation. For example, if a landlord does not normally provide shopping for residents, a request to shop for an individual with a disability could constitute a fundamental alteration.

(d) A person cannot deny a request for a reasonable accommodation based on the person's or another individual's fears or prejudices about the individual's disability, nor can a denial be based on the fact that provision of a reasonable accommodation might be considered unfair by other individuals or might possibly become an undue burden if extended to multiple other individuals who might request accommodations.

(1. New section filed 9-16-2019; operative 1-1-2020 (Register 2019, No. 38). 2. Change without regulatory effect amending subsections (a)(4) and (b) filed 12-12-2019 pursuant to section 100, title 1, California Code of Regulations (Register 2019, No. 50).)

Note: Authority cited: Section 12935(a), Government Code. Reference: Sections 12920, 12921, 12926, 12926.1, 12927, 12955 and 12955.3, Government Code; and Auburn Woods I Homeowners Ass'n v. Fair Employment and Housing Com'n (2004) 121 Cal.App.4th 1578.

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