Disabled employees are legally protected against discrimination. Both the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of a physical disability, a mental disability or a medical condition. This includes during the hiring process and when you are employed. These rights can be further enforced through a San Diego Disability Discrimination Lawyer.
Unfortunately, despite these legal protections, many employees face discrimination because of their disabilities. If you are an employee who is being mistreated, passed over for promotions, demoted, or otherwise discriminated against for your disability, you need an attorney to protect your rights.
At The Law Office of Frank S. Clowney III, our attorneys work around your needs and interests. We tailor our approach to the specifics of your circumstances. Facing disability discrimination can be overwhelming. That is why we provide you with support and encouragement during legal counseling and representation. We have been working in employment law for 40 years and have successfully represented our clients against many large corporations. We can craft a vigorous defense that achieves your goals.
Before explicitly defining specific actions that are considered disability discrimination, it is important to understand the difference between disparate treatment discrimination and disparate impact discrimination. While these two things are different, they are both protected under anti-discrimination laws.
Disparate treatment discrimination typically occurs to one employee at a time as opposed to a whole group. Usually, one employee is singled out due to a protected characteristic like race, age, or disability status and treated differently from other employees in some way. They can be demoted, denied a promotion, have their salary cut, or unfairly terminated. This is a common type of discrimination, but there are other, more implicit ways to discriminate.
Disparate impact discrimination is not as well known, but it is still illegal under California law. Even if a company attempts to act fairly, sometimes, they target certain protected classes unfairly. For example, offering perks for employees who take the stairs or exercise regularly might unfairly affect employees with physical disabilities. Just because an employer did not mean to discriminate does not mean they are not in violation of the law.
Disability anti-discrimination laws are meant to prevent the firing of a person based on their disability. It also protects individuals from being denied employment or advancement because of their disability. If an employee can complete their job duties with a reasonable accommodation, they cannot be discriminated against for mental or physical disabilities. Employers cannot fire or deny employment to someone to avoid providing a reasonable accommodation.
It may be illegal for an employer to do any of the following:
If you are an employee facing discriminatory behavior, you can file a claim and receive compensation for the damages done to you. Employers who violate these laws must pay the mistreated employee lost wages, medical expenses, attorney fees, and compensation for emotional and mental distress and suffering, inconvenience, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Disability discrimination claims are made through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). While you can do this without help from an attorney, it is not advisable. The EEOC requires evidence of your claim. This can be easier to find and compile with the help of a knowledgeable attorney.
In addition to dealing with workplace discrimination, you likely have other things in your life you need to focus on. Therefore, you will not be able to spend the necessary amount of time on your claim. If it does not have the right information, or there is a mistake, it may be dismissed. Your claim must also be filed within the applicable statute of limitations under state or federal law. An experienced San Diego disability discrimination lawyer can ensure that it has the correct information and evidence, accurately laid out for the EEOC. This can save you time and stress. It can also give your claim a better chance of being approved.
The legal protections for disabilities in California can often be broader than those protected under federal law. Disabilities in California are legally defined as conditions that limit a person’s life activities. This covers mental and physical disabilities, as well as medical conditions such as cancer. California law protects those who have disabilities such as:
There are some important exceptions to anti-discrimination laws. Some ailments are not considered disabilities under California law, including:
A reasonable accommodation is a modification made to the workplace or job that allows you to perform the job duties. However, it cannot burden your employer with undue hardship. When you inform an employer of your disability and need for reasonable accommodation, they must respond in a timely manner. They must also act in good faith to provide the accommodation.
Examples of reasonable accommodations may include:
If your employer fails to provide such an accommodation or retaliates against you for requesting one, you need to talk with a disability discrimination attorney.
If an accommodation does not create unnecessary hardship for an employer, it is considered reasonable. Here are some other criteria that can be used to determine whether a specific accommodation is unreasonable:
While a case might seem clear, legally, it might be different. It is important to seek legal counsel as soon as possible to determine whether or not your situation warrants filing a claim.
To prove disability discrimination in San Diego, CA, you must prove your disability or perceived disability. This can be done with statements, doctor’s records, or testimony. You must also prove that your employer made an employment choice based on this disability. Evidence of this could be statements from your employer, similar experiences from coworkers, or other witness testimony. You also must prove you were qualified for the position you were not hired for or promoted to. An attorney can help you gather the important evidence for your claim and for litigation, if necessary.
Disability discrimination is the wrongful treatment of an employee or potential employee based on their mental or physical disability or perceived disability. This may include failure to hire, failure to promote, or other negative workplace treatment such as harassment. Many employees or potential employees can perform their stated job duties with reasonable accommodations. They should not be denied a job or promotion based on their disability or medical condition.
The most common types of disability discrimination include:
As the employee filing the claim, you have the burden of proof. You must provide evidence that:
If you can prove all of this, you have a strong chance of winning your claim.
An employee should talk to a San Diego Disability discrimination attorney as soon as the employee suspects that disability discrimination is taking place. A lawyer can provide advice at a very early stage. There are also time limits for bringing disability discrimination claims if the problem cannot be resolved directly with the employer.