Under California law, it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee for a disability if that person can perform the essential functions of the job with or without a reasonable accommodation. This means that it is unlawful for an employer to refuse to hire or fire an individual, or decrease pay or change terms and conditions of his or her employment based on that individual’s disability.
A disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. This is a fairly broad statement and can include psychological conditions, hereditary disorders, and physical and cosmetic disfigurement. Physical disabilities include heart conditions, depression, epilepsy, bipolar disorder, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and chronic illnesses. Also, the California courts have found that physical injuries of the ligaments and body parts and panic attacks to constitute physical disabilities. Interestingly enough, obesity may be considered a disability if accompanied by or due to some other disability or disease, but alone it is not enough to constitute a physical disability.
If you think your employer is discriminating against you based upon your disability, then contact our office for a free consultation.