San Diego Disability Discrimination Lawyer

San Diego Disability Discrimination Lawyer

Disability Discrimination Attorney in San Diego, CA

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.

San Diego Disability Discrimination Lawyer

The Law Office of Frank S. Clowney III: Your San Diego Disability Discrimination Lawyers

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.

Types of Discrimination

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.

What Are Examples of Disability Discrimination?

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:

  • Ask a job applicant about his or her health conditions.
  • Require a job applicant to take a medical exam.
  • Refuse to hire a qualified person with a disability or a perceived disability.
  • Refuse to take reasonable steps to modify a disabled employee’s workstation or job duties to accommodate their disability or medical condition.
  • Fire an employee who develops a disability but can still do their job with reasonable accommodation.
  • Refuse to find modified or alternative work for an injured employee.
  • Refuse to allow an injured employee to return to work unless they are fully healed.
  • Refuse to have a meaningful discussion and engage in the interactive process with a disabled employee about a reasonable accommodation.
  • Fire an employee for requesting reasonable accommodations.
  • Refuse to grant an employee medical leave they are entitled to, such as leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or the California Family Rights Act (CFRA).
  • Refuse to return an employee to work after the employee has received workers’ compensation.

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.

Why Do I Need a San Diego Disability Discrimination Attorney?

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.

What Disabilities Are Covered by Anti-Discrimination Laws?

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:

  • A disease, condition, or disfigurement that impairs a person’s ability to walk, hear, work, or communicate. This includes HIV, diabetes, or multiple sclerosis.
  • A temporary physical impairment that may last six months or less, such as broken bones.
  • A medical condition that is in remission, such as cancer.
  • A permanent or temporary mental disability.
  • A perceived impairment that is considered by your employer to be disabling or potentially disabling.

Exceptions to Anti-Discrimination Laws

There are some important exceptions to anti-discrimination laws. Some ailments are not considered disabilities under California law, including:

  • Sexual Disorders: Disabilities relating to one’s sexual performance and pleasure are typically not included in anti-discrimination laws. An employee’s sexual orientation is protected, but the presence of a sexual disorder is not.
  • Volatile Disorders: Disorders that might seriously impact the well-being of a business and its employees are usually not considered in anti-discrimination laws. These include conditions like gambling disorders, kleptomania, and pyromania.
  • Drug Use: The use of psychoactive drugs like cocaine, meth, peyote, and LSD are not protected under anti-discrimination laws. Additionally, employees with legal medical marijuana authorization are not protected from penalties due to the use of marijuana in the workplace.

Understanding Reasonable Accommodations

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:

  • Providing accessible entrances to a workplace, such as a handicap entrance
  • Allowing medical leave or extended leave
  • Letting an employee work from home
  • Modifying work equipment or technology, such as reading software for blind employees or a wheelchair-accessible desk
  • Modifying job schedules
  • Providing additional training or policies

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.

How Do I Know if an Accommodation Is Reasonable?

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:

  • Accommodation Cost: An accommodation is more likely to be considered reasonable if it can be adopted quickly and fairly inexpensively. This consideration is made differently depending on the size and revenue of the business. The larger the business, the more cost it is expected to handle.
  • Impact on Others: An accommodation for one employee might affect others’ abilities to do their jobs in the same facility. It might be less likely to be considered discrimination if an accommodation significantly impacts the ability of a business to perform its daily functions.
  • Business Details: Other factors taken into account include things like the size of the business, the number of employees it has, what type of business it is, and what type of facilities it uses to perform daily operations.

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.

FAQs About San Diego, CL Disability Discrimination Laws

How do I prove disability discrimination in California?

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.

What is disability discrimination in California?

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.

What are some examples of disability discrimination?

The most common types of disability discrimination include:

  • Refusing to hire an applicant because of their disability or to avoid making reasonable accommodations
  • Demoting or firing an employee because of a new or existing disability or medical condition
  • Treating disabled employees differently than other employees by failing to provide the same promotion or other opportunities
  • Harassing disabled employees
  • Refusing to provide reasonable accommodations

How do you win an ADA discrimination lawsuit?

As the employee filing the claim, you have the burden of proof. You must provide evidence that:

  • You were qualified to complete the job duties with reasonable accommodation.
  • You have a disability or a perceived disability.
  • Your employer failed to provide reasonable accommodations.
  • Your employer otherwise discriminated against you in the workplace because of your disability.

If you can prove all of this, you have a strong chance of winning your claim.

Contact a San Diego, CA, Disability Discrimination Lawyer Today

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.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

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