Having a disability is never a matter of choice. Yet, many people experience numerous challenges navigating life in the workplace because of the complications their disabilities pose. The good news is that the Americans With Disabilities Act and California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act protect individuals with disability against discrimination.
Disability discrimination in the workplace is when an employee is mistreated or disadvantaged due to reasons relating to their disability. In this context, a disability can either be physical, mental, intellectual, or sensory.
California has two legislations that protect people with disabilities, namely:
While Nevada only operates under the ADA which generally provides less protection to employees than FEHA—but it provides several protections, nonetheless. Signed in 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits employers with more than 15 employees from discriminating against disabled individuals in the workplace. In addition, the ADA describes the conditions an employee must meet to be classified as disabled.
The FEHA is even more expansive and protects employees that work for employers with 5 or more employees. It provides various remedies to employees and protects them from discriminatory practices. Specifically, it prohibits discrimination in employment and housing opportunities based on an individual’s color, national origin, race, religion, disability, transgender status, gender expression, gender identity, sexual orientation, military or veteran status, marital status, age (40 and over), and various other protected characteristics.
Employment laws in California require employers with five or more employees to make accommodations for all their employees with disabilities unless doing so would create an undue hardship. A reasonable accommodation is any adjustment in an employee’s work environment to help employees carry out their essential functions more efficiently.
Examples of reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities include:
If you believe that your employer discriminated against you due to your disability, consider the following steps:
If you believe that you are being or have been discriminated against based on your disability, a knowledgeable disability discrimination attorney may be able to help. But what exactly does this attorney do? The attorney will evaluate your claim to determine whether it is valid. Not all disability discrimination issues are legally actionable. A skilled and knowledgeable California employment discrimination attorney will take the time to thoroughly evaluate your potential claim and let you know if there is a sufficient basis to move forward with filing a claim and/or pursuing a lawsuit against your current or former employer.
If there is evidence to indicate that you experienced disability discrimination in the workplace or were retaliated against for requesting a reasonable accommodation, contact Melody Rissell Leonard with The Rissell Law Firm in San Francisco today. Melody takes pride in helping clients get great results and works tirelessly on behalf of people who were wronged in the workplace. Contact Melody today to schedule a free, confidential case review.