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Employee Disability Discrimination in California

Apr 19, 2020 | Employee Discrimination

Are you wondering if you have been a victim of employee disability discrimination in California? According to California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), it is unlawful for the employer to discriminate against any person based on mental or physical disability. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects qualified employees and applicants from employment discrimination based on disability.

Elements of Workplace Disability Discrimination

According to CACI 2540 to establish the claim of employment discrimination based on disability the plaintiff must be able to establish the following elements:

  • The defendant was the employer of the plaintiff or the plaintiff applied to the defendant for a job
  • Defendant knew that the plaintiff had a physical disability
  • Plaintiff was able to perform the essential job duties with reasonable accommodation for his physical condition
  • Defendant discharged or refused to hire the plaintiff or subjected the plaintiff to an adverse employment action or the plaintiff was constructively discharged
  • Plaintiff’s physical condition was a substantial motivating reason for the defendant’s decision to discharge or refuse to hire the plaintiff
  • Defendant’s conduct caused harm to the plaintiff

Plaintiff does not need to prove that the defendant held any ill will or animosity toward him personally because he was perceived to be disabled.

Examples of Employment Disability Discrimination

Examples of employment disability discrimination include:

  • Refusing to employ or hire a person with disabilities
  • Refusing to select a person with disabilities for a training program
  • Bearing, firing, or discharging a person with disabilities
  • Reducing payment
  • Denying employee benefits
  • Denying promotion opportunities
  • Demoting
  • Denying job reinstatement
  • Assigning different duties to a person with disabilities
  • Any other discrimination in any way

Reasonable Accommodation for People With Disabilities

A reasonable accommodation is any change to the application or hiring process, that way perform the main functions or the work environment that allows a person with a disability who is qualified for the job to perform the essential functions of that job and enjoy equal employment opportunities.

Examples of Reasonable Accommodation:

  • Changing a work schedule, such as allowing a part-time work
  • Allowing an employee with disabilities to work from home
  • Modifying or adjusting training materials, exams and policies
  • Providing interpreters or readers
  • Providing modified devices, equipment, or furniture

Filing an Employee Disability Discrimination Claim With the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing or U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Depending on the type of the case and the jurisdiction and type of discrimination case, a person can file with either the EEOC or DFEH. Claims must be filled in accordance with the statute of limitations. The employer can file the claim as soon as he became aware of the discriminatory conduct.

After the agency receives a complaint from the employer, an investigation takes place. During this investigation, the agency will obtain relevant evidence of the employer’s unlawful conduct and in case it determines that workplace discrimination occurred. The agency can undertake one of the following steps:

  • Arrange a settlement meeting between the employee and the employee;
  • Mediate a suitable settlement to end the claim and compensate the injured employee;
  • If settlement negotiations fail or the investigation; or
  • If it’s determined that the agency will not pursue the matter, a “right to sue” notice will be issued. The employee can still pursue a lawsuit if he decides to do so.

Los Angeles Disability Discrimination Attorney

If you believe that your employer has discriminated against you on the basis of a disability, we invite you to contact our employment law attorney at 310-933-5171, for a free consultation.