California Disability Discrimination Lawyers
Championing the Rights of Disabled Workers
Federal and state laws require employers to make “reasonable accommodation” for an employee who suffers a medically documented disability. However, many employers don’t understand what constitutes a reasonable accommodation nor how to properly make the determination. Employment decisions also can’t be based on the level of disability.
You might have the grounds for a lawsuit if your employer has violated the disability law. Contact Valiant Law to learn more.
Disability Laws Protecting Employees
Just about all business owners are familiar with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Since the 1990s, the ADA has not only required covered employers to make reasonable accommodations for disabled employees, but it also has prohibited businesses from treating a job applicant less favorably because of his or her disability status. This prohibition extends even to perceived disabilities. For example, an employer cannot refuse to hire an applicant because it incorrectly believes he or she suffers from an impairment.
Disabilities protected under the law include the following:
- Vision, hearing, or speech impairments
- Loss of limb(s) or mobility impairments
- HIV/AIDs, diabetes, and other chronic diseases
- Clinical depression
- Bipolar disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Traumatic brain injury
For an individual to qualify for disability protection at work, they must be able to perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodation. They must satisfy the stipulated job requirements such as educational background, work experience, certifications, and other job-related qualifications.
Both the ADA and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) place the burden squarely on the employer to adopt policies and practices that ensure disabled individuals enjoy all of the same benefits of employment as everyone else. For example, employers generally cannot ask about a disability (or its severity) during the hiring process. Nor can employers require a medical examination as a precondition of employment unless that is the standard procedure for all applicants.
Disabled Californians are discriminated against in the following ways:
- Employers consider their disability in deciding hiring, firing, or promotion decisions.
- The disabled employee is paid less or receives fewer benefits than non-disabled employees.
- Employers deny a disabled employee desirable job assignments and responsibilities.
- The disabled employee is laid off.
- Reasonable accommodations are not provided for the disability.
Employees who are temporarily disabled are equally protected under the law.
We want to help you be treated equitably at work. At Valiant Law, we fight discrimination at every level in the workplace.
Reasonable Accommodation for Disabled Employees
Employers must provide an employee or applicant with any “reasonable accommodation” necessary for that individual to perform his or her job. This is where we find many employers run afoul of disability discrimination laws.
The reality is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to reasonable accommodation. That is why the law requires employers to engage in a “timely, good faith interactive process” with the employee. This process should be used to clarify the employee’s “essential” job functions and determine what accommodations are possible.
Compensation for Disability Discrimination
Filing a successful claim against your employers does more than end the discriminating behavior.
Our disability discrimination attorneys at Valiant Law work to get all appropriate compensation:
- Reasonable accommodations
- Back pay
- Future lost earnings
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Damages for emotional distress
- Punitive damages
Your employer is barred from retaliating against any legal action you take to defend your ADA and FEHA rights.
Legal Counsel Fighting for the Rights of the Disabled
Disability discrimination can be one of the trickier areas of employment law as every employee’s circumstances are unique. Oftentimes, individuals are unaware of all the protections afforded them by state and federal laws.
If you believe that you are being treated differently because of your disability, or that your employer dismisses your requests for accommodations, you need to talk to one of our attorneys at Valiant Law. Not only is it possible that changes can be made to make you more productive at work, but you could also be entitled to compensation.