Wilson v. County of Orange, 169 Cal. App. 4th 1185 (2009)

Julie Ann Wilson worked as a radio dispatcher for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department’s emergency communications system. Wilson sued the County for disability discrimination under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) on the ground that it allegedly had failed to make reasonable accommodation for her medical condition (antiphospholipid antibody syndrome or “thick blood”) that necessitated she avoid the most stressful aspects of her job. Although the County accommodated Wilson in precisely the manner she sought, she contended it had violated the FEHA by not providing her the accommodation earlier and by not initiating an “interactive process” with her sooner. The case was tried to a jury, and the jury returned a verdict for the County. The Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment in favor of the County, holding that “the record demonstrates the County engaged in a process aimed at trying to accommodate Wilson. Indeed, the success of its process is borne out by the fact that in the end, Wilson got exactly what she wanted – albeit after a series of temporary accommodations.”