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Disability Discrimination

California Lawyers Asserting the Rights of Employees Man on wheelchair in crowd

When you go to work, you likely hope to be judged on the quality of your work performance, rather than a disability and any stereotypes that attend it. Federal and state laws prohibit disability discrimination in the workplace. Generally, California law protects more workers and has a more expansive approach to disability discrimination. However, each case is unique, and it is important to consult a California disability discrimination lawyer. If you believe that you were a victim of discrimination in the workplace, The Nourmand Law Firm may be able to represent you in a lawsuit for damages.

Disability Discrimination

Disability discrimination occurs when an employer takes an adverse action against you because of a disability. Discriminatory acts in the workplace could include failure to hire, failure to promote, disparate pay, failure to provide training, demotion, harassment, or termination. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) define a disability differently. The ADA only applies to employers with at least 15 employees. FEHA applies to employers that have at least five employees.

How Does the ADA Define a Disability?

Under the ADA, a disability is a mental or physical impairment that results in a major life activity being substantially limited. The ADA also prohibits discrimination against an employee based on their prior disability or history of a disability. You are also protected under the ADA if you are not actually disabled but face discrimination based on an inaccurate perception that you have a disability. Major life activities can include very basic tasks, such as walking or talking, but they may also include bodily functions, such as those involving the respiratory or reproductive system. The ADA requires an employer to provide a reasonable accommodation to a qualified employee who has a disability. A disability discrimination attorney in California can help an employee seek a reasonable accommodation.

What Is a Disability Under FEHA?

FEHA has a broader definition of a disability. Any condition that restricts a major life activity, including mental and physical disabilities and medical conditions, may be a disability. Mental disabilities could include anxiety, bipolar disorder, clinical depression, or schizophrenia, among others. Physical disabilities could include HIV, blindness, diabetes, chronic diseases, or disorders arising out of pregnancy and childbirth.

Reasonable Accommodations

In California, you may be entitled to a reasonable accommodation for your disability. Your employer should provide a reasonable accommodation for a disability unless doing so would cause an undue hardship for the employer.

Reasonable accommodations include any change to workplace practices, policies, or conditions that would allow you to do your job. For example, if you have back problems that qualify as a disability, you may need an ergonomic chair and more frequent rest breaks to walk around. If you have cancer, you may need an altered work schedule to accommodate your need for chemotherapy treatments. Your California disability discrimination attorney will need to establish that you are a qualified individual who can perform essential job functions with or without a reasonable accommodation.

Your employer's refusal to provide you with a reasonable accommodation when it would not pose an undue hardship may be a form of disability discrimination. Your employer should involve you in a good-faith interactive process to figure out which accommodation would be suitable for your disability, among those that the employer can provide without an undue hardship. Your employer is allowed to give you a different reasonable accommodation than the accommodation that you request.

Consult a Seasoned California Attorney

If you were harmed by disability discrimination, you should talk to the seasoned attorneys at The Nourmand Law Firm. We will work with you to understand how the wrong that you suffered has adversely affected your life. We analyze the facts of each case with rigor and depth. Our goal is to give each client the personalized attention needed to put them in a favorable position. The disability discrimination lawyers at our California firm represent people in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside Counties, as well as Oakland and Sacramento, among other areas. Complete our online form or call us at 310-553-3600.

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