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Wrongful Termination Based on Disability

Los Angeles Lawyers Experienced in Discrimination Claims

Employment in California is “at will.” This means that an employer may generally terminate employment at any time for any reason. However, an employer may not violate statutes or contracts in terminating employment. When an employer fires someone based on a disability or a complaint related to disability discrimination, or for a retaliatory purpose related to a disabled worker engaging in protected activity related to the disability, it may be possible for the disabled worker to bring a wrongful termination lawsuit. If you were subject to a wrongful termination based on your disability, the Los Angeles disability discrimination attorneys at The Nourmand Law Firm may be able to provide legal representation in a lawsuit for damages.

Wrongful Termination Based on Disability

Both the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and California law prohibit disability discrimination, but generally California is more favorable to employees. Under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), it is illegal to terminate an employee due to a physical disability, mental disability, or medical condition. These disabilities include situations in which you are perceived to have a disability or medical condition, even if you do not actually have a disability. For example, if your employer terminates you, claiming that your cerebral palsy puts off customers, this is likely a wrongful termination.

You should let your employer know if you have a disability that affects your ability to do your job, assuming that the employer is covered by the ADA or FEHA. Both of these laws require employers to give employees with disabilities reasonable accommodations, which are alterations to the work environment, structure, job duties, or policies that allow a qualified worker with a disability to do a job. The employee needs to ask for the reasonable accommodation, and it is a violation of the law for your employer to fail to engage in good faith with you to come up with a reasonable accommodation that would allow you to do your job, unless providing an accommodation is an undue hardship. Although you might not get the precise accommodation that you want, it is illegal for your employer to terminate you for asking for the accommodation.

Sometimes an employee becomes disabled and is unable to do the same job. They may provide a doctor’s note related to disability leave or ask for a reasonable accommodation. An employer is not supposed to terminate an employee who takes disability leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) while they are taking the leave. These laws apply to employers with 50 or more employees, and they both require covered employers to give leave to workers in connection with various events, including a personal serious health condition. Workers are not supposed to be subject to discrimination or retaliation for exercising their rights under these laws.

However, in some cases, a doctor provides a note for an extension of leave for a disabled worker, but the employer ignores the note or denies receiving it multiple times, until the worker gives up and then gets terminated. Sometimes employers ask for more details than appropriate on the grounds that they think that a worker is exaggerating or abusing the process. An employee has 15 days to provide documentation of a disability under the FMLA. However, in some cases, an employer provides less time and looks at other reasons to terminate, such as a prior negative performance review. The timing, however, may suggest a wrongful termination.

Discuss Your Case With a Wrongful Termination Attorney in Los Angeles

If you have received a wrongful termination based on a disability, The Nourmand Law Firm may be able to represent you in a lawsuit for damages. Our Los Angeles lawyers provide aggressive legal representation to workers who have been harmed in Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Palm Springs, Beverly Hills, Van Nuys, Anaheim, Santa Ana, Newport Beach, Valencia, Ventura, Montebello, City of Commerce, Alhambra, Downey, Lancaster, Palmdale and other communities in San Diego, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Riverside, Ventura and Orange Counties. Call us at 800-700-WAGE (9243) or contact us through our online form to set up an appointment with a wrongful termination attorney.

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