Disability Discrimination

Disability Discrimination Attorney

If you are disabled, you are in a protected class under both federal and state laws. Employment discrimination based on either real or perceived disabilities violates both the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Fair Employment and Housing Act. This means that an employer cannot harass, discharge, fail to promote, or fail to hire an employee because of their disability.

California’s definition of a disability is particularly broad. You are protected under state law if are in one of the following categories:

  • You have a physical disability, which is defined as having “a condition, disorder, physiological disease, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss that limits any major life activity.”
  • You have a mental or psychological disorder or condition that “limits a major life activity.”
  • You have a perceived disability, even if you are not actually disabled, and are “regarded, perceived, or treated by the employer or other covered entity as having, or having had, a physical or mental disease, disorder, condition or cosmetic disfigurement.”
  • You have a temporary impairment, such as a pregnancy or minor injury.
  • You have an impairment that may be either permanent or temporary, such as clinically diagnosed depression, anxiety, or stress — or a physical injury that may or may not take more than six months to heal.

Employers must adhere to any requests for reasonable accommodations for their employee’s disabilities as long as the request does not put undue stress on the employer. Employers must engage in good faith communication with their disabled employees in order to satisfy reasonable accommodation requests. Failure to do so is illegal under California law.

While the term “reasonable accommodation” may sound ambiguous, it’s clarified by California’s regulations:

Reasonable accommodation” is:

(1) modifications or adjustments that are:

(A) effective in enabling an applicant with a disability to have an equal opportunity to be considered for a desired job, or

(B) effective in enabling an employee to perform the essential functions of the job the employee holds or desires, or

(C) effective in enabling an employee with a disability to enjoy equivalent benefits and privileges of employment as are enjoyed by similarly situated employees without disabilities.

(2) Examples of Reasonable Accommodation. Reasonable accommodation may include, but are not limited to, such measures as:

(A) Making existing facilities used by applicants and employees readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. This may include, but is not limited to, providing accessible break rooms, restrooms, training rooms, or reserved parking places; acquiring or modifying furniture, equipment or devices; or making other similar adjustments in the work environment;

(B) Allowing applicants or employees to bring assistive animals to the work site;

(C) Transferring an employee to a more accessible worksite;

(D) Providing assistive aids and services such as qualified readers or interpreters to an applicant or employee;

(E) Job Restructuring. This may include, but is not limited to, reallocation or redistribution of non-essential job functions in a job with multiple responsibilities;

(F) Providing a part-time or modified work schedule;

(G) Permitting an alteration of when and/or how an essential function is performed;

(H) Providing an adjustment or modification of examinations, training materials or policies;

(I) Modifying an employer policy;

(J) Modifying supervisory methods (e.g., dividing complex tasks into smaller parts);

(K) Providing additional training;

(L) Permitting an employee to work from home;

(M) Providing a paid or unpaid leave for treatment and recovery, consistent with section 11068(c);

(N) Providing a reassignment to a vacant position, consistent with section 11068(d); and

(O) other similar accommodations.

If you believe you are a victim of disability discrimination, please call us for a free and confidential consultation at (310) 888-7771. At Setareh Law Group, we are experienced employment attorneys who are known for relentlessly advocating for our client’s rights. We have successfully recovered more than $100 million on behalf of our clients by settlement or trial.