Disability discrimination at work is extremely common. The law is very clear. Basically, a company in California is not allowed to fire an employee because the employee has a disability. There are many exceptions to this employment law, but employees should generally be aware that discrimination on the basis of disability is not allowed. If you’re a victim, contact a disability discrimination lawyer as soon as possible.
California employment law prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of a physical disability, mental disability, or medical condition. In most circumstances, if you have a disability, your employer must reasonably accommodate you. What does that mean?
Reasonable Accommodation Law
How do you define reasonable accommodation? California law requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for an individual with a disability to enable them to perform the essential functions of the job unless doing so would produce undue hardship to the employer’s operations.
Some real world examples of this may include allowing the employee to take an additional break each day, allowing the employee to take a brief leave of absence, letting the employee use a service dog, permitting the wheelchair bound employee to have a desk on the first floor, etc. Any accommodations depend on the individual employee’s disability.
If your employer refuses to accommodate you, contact a disability discrimination lawyer like Mr. Robertson immediately. If your employer refuses to provide you with a reasonable accommodation and terminates you, you may have a good disability discrimination case.
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Disability Discrimination Types
Physical Disability Employment Law
Legally speaking, what is a “physical disability?” A physical disability includes physiological and anatomical conditions. These are any physiological disease, disorder, condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss that both limits an individual’s ability to participate in major life activities.
More specifically, “physical disabilities” includes:
- Heart disease
- Clinical depression
- Seizure disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Multiple sclerosis
- Chronic or episodic conditions such as HIV/AIDS
Additionally, courts have found the following impairments to be “physical disabilities” under the particular facts of the case:
- Back conditions – that impair working or other major life activities
- Wrist injury – that required fusion surgery resulting in restrictions on lifting, pulling and pushing
- High blood pressure – if disabling
- Polio – if disabling
- Panic attacks – temporarily unable to perform her job due to heart palpitations and other symptoms
- Pain – alone does not by itself constitute a disability. Rather, it depends on how the pain affects the specific employee
- Obesity: With some exceptions, obesity by itself is not a physical disability under California law
If you are disabled because of your pregnancy, go to our Pregnancy Disability Leave page for more information.
If you have a physical disability and your employer will not reasonably accommodate you, or you believe your employer has terminated, demoted, or cut your benefits because of your disability, contact a disability discrimination attorney as soon as possible. You may have a disability discrimination case.
Mental Disability Employment Law
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Depression and personality disorders
- Obsessive compulsive disorder
“Medical condition” means either cancer or a genetic characteristics (a scientifically identified gene known to be a cause of disease, or inherited characteristics determined to cause or increase the risk of developing a disease or disorder, although not associated with any present symptoms of any disease or disorder).
Thus, individuals with genes or inherited characteristics that are associated with an increased risk of a particular disease or condition are “disabled” and protected from discrimination by the employer. Moreover, if employers use preemployment tests for genetic characteristics, those tested may argue that they were “regarded” as disabled and cannot be discriminated against on the basis of such disability.
If you have a medical condition and your employer will not reasonably accommodate you, or you believe your employer has terminated, demoted, or cut your because of your condition, contact a disability discrimination lawyer like Branigan Robertson.
Disability Discrimination Lawyer Consultation
Do you have a disability discrimination case? The best way to find out is to speak with our employment attorney. We give every employee a free consultation. Due to the large number of disability discrimination calls that we get, we’ve learned which cases are worth pursuing and which cases should not be pursued. If we accept your case, Mr. Robertson will represent you on a contingency fee which means you won’t pay any money out of pocket. We only get paid if we settle your case or win at trial.