California has led the nation in requiring employers to reasonably accommodate works with disabilities. Under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, employers may not discriminate against workers on the basis of their disabilities, whether workers are actually disabled or “regarded as” disabled by their employers.

The employee does not have to use any “magic words” to inform his or her employer about a disability, or when asking for an accommodation.

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A number of companies that hire drivers and couriers have classified them as independent contractors. Courts are rejecting this. The effect is that the companies are liable for workplace violations that employees may sue for, as well as taxes and penalties for not withholding employment taxes from the drivers’ pay.

The latest case is Narayan v. EGL, Inc. handed down by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on July 13, 2010.

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