Disability discrimination in the workplace arises when an employer covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), or the Disability discrimination act, treats an employee or job applicant with a disability unfavorably. Disability discrimination also arises when an employer unfairly treats an employee or job applicant due to having a past illness or disability which they believe may affect their ability to perform at work (such as cancer or a physical or mental illness that is not transitory).
The California labor law requires an employer to provide reasonable accommodation to an employee or job applicant who suffers from a disability, unless it is not financially possible for them to do so. The California labor law also protects people from disability discrimination based on their relationship with a disabled person. For instance, it is completely illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee because his wife or her husband suffers from a disability. This would fall under disability discrimination in the workplace.
What is a disability?
A disability is an impairment which may be cognitive, mental, intellectual, sensory or a combination of these which limits a person’s life activities and further limiting one’s ability to perform tasks at work. Not every person with a certain medical condition is protected by the California labor law. For an employee or job applicant to be protected, the person is required to be a qualified individual and have a disability as defined by the California labor law. A person is able to show that he or she suffers from a disability in one of the following ways:
- If he/she has a physical or mental condition that significantly limits them from doing something. For example: walking, talking, listening, seeing, learning.
- If he/she has a history of a disability.
- If he/she is believed to have a physical or mental illness that is not transitory.
Disability discrimination & work situations in Los Angeles
The California labor law prevents disability discrimination in the workplace when it comes to any aspect of employment. This includes hiring, terminating, pay, assignments, promotions, layoff, training, cut-offs, work benefits, and any other term that can be associated with the employment or working process.
Reasonable accommodation to prevent disability discrimination in the workplace
According to the Disability discrimination act, every employer covered by the California labor law must provide reasonable accommodation to an employee or applicant who suffers from a disability, unless doing so would create any hardships for the employer. A reasonable accommodation is a change to the workplace, job or any other factors which are required in order for an employee with a disability to perform at work. For example, providing reasonable accommodation by lowering the height of a desk to accommodate a worker in a wheelchair, or providing voice-activated software to an employee who suffers from dyslexia or carpal tunnel syndrome. Disability discrimination in the workplace would occur if the employer fails to provide the employee with such vital necessities to perform the job.
The California labor law ensures that all employers provide reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities. Reasonable accommodation may include:
- Medical leave
- Allowing an employee to work from home
- Providing modified equipment, software or devices
- Alternative work schedules
- Rescheduling an available position
- Adjustment of work policies
- Additional training and benefits
- Interpretation assistance
- Accessible workspace
How should an employer handle applicants with disabilities to prevent disability discrimination?
The Disability discrimination act prevents employers from receiving any medical certificates or information from job applicants with disabilities. Under the California labor law, employers are not allowed to ask any medical related questions about a particular disability that the applicant may have. Doing so means that the employer is breaching the California labor law and further inducing disability discrimination in the workplace.
On the other hand, an employer may condition a job offer on the applicant’s answers to medical queries or may even require him/her to take a medical exam. However, this is only the case if all other new hires for the same job vacancy are also requested to provide the same medical information. The Disability discrimination act states that no potential employee should be singled out for any exams or questions just because he/she has a disability.
Upon hiring a person with a disability, an employer is only permitted to request medical details in order for the new recruit to work in a hostile environment which offers reasonable accommodation. Should you request further information regarding the Disability discrimination act, feel free to contact our team of disability discrimination lawyers at Wrongful Termination Law Group.
Contact our disability discrimination lawyers to protect your rights against disability discrimination in the workplace
If you believe that you are are facing any of the above mentioned issues at work or in the hiring process, or have been discriminated against because of your disability, you should talk to an experienced disability discrimination lawyer immediately. To protect your right to sue, you are requested to file a charge of discrimination with a government agency as soon as possible. A disability discrimination lawyer will help you decide whether your case is worth pursuing or not, try to negotiate with your employer to come to a mutual agreement, or settlement to protect your rights against disability discrimination in the workplace.
At Wrongful Termination Law Group, our disability discrimination lawyers are renowned for successfully representing clients who have fallen victims of disability discrimination in the workplace. We are respected for our honest representation of our clients with concrete disability discrimination claims.
During your consultation, our disability discrimination lawyers will help answer your questions, explain the California labor laws regarding disability discrimination, and discuss the several legal options available to effectively settle your case. Our experienced team of disability discrimination lawyers in Los Angeles will develop a legal strategy tailored to suit your exact needs and will achieve the best possible result for you. At Wrongful Termination Law Group, we handle all of our clients cases in a professional manner on a contingency basis, meaning that you do not need to pay any disability discrimination lawyer’s fees unless we win your case.