Disability in California encompasses a broader spectrum of medical conditions than we traditionally think of when we think of disabilities. Under California law, a disability includes any medical condition that impairs a major life activity, including the ability of an employee to work. Disabilities take many forms from physical impairments to psychiatric conditions.
Under California law, an employer that becomes aware of a disability has a duty to provide a “reasonable accommodation” to the employee if the disability impacts the employee’s ability to do their job. An employee who has a disability that impacts their ability to do their job may contact their supervisor or employer’s human resource department to both inform their employer of the disability, and to request a reasonable accommodation.
As part of the process of providing a reasonable accommodation, an employer must engage in the “interactive process” to discuss potential accommodations with the employee. This process involves the employer discussing with the employee to identify what is needed for the employee to perform the essential functions of the employee’s job. All to often, employers fail to either attempt to discuss accommodation, or to offer a reasonable accommodation, and instead terminate employees who require accommodations.
What is Disability Discrimination?
As with Employment Discrimination generally, Disability Discrimination takes a variety of forms, but generally involves an employee being subjected to negative treatment in the workplace because of their membership in a protected class. This treatment ranges from disciplinary action, negative performance reviews, denial of training, denial of promotions, denial of raises, and termination.
If you believe that you are or have been subjected to Disability Discrimination, you should document the discrimination and follow your employer’s internal policies or procedures for making a complaint. Additionally, if you believe that you have a disability or medical condition that requires a reasonable accommodation, you should explain the need for accommodation to your employer and request that they discuss specific accommodations with you. A record of this treatment and documentation of complaints is key evidence in any claim for discrimination. If you believe that you may have been subjected to Disability Discrimination, you may contact our offices for a free consultation.
Our offices generally represent clients on a contingency fee basis. This means that there is generally no fee for representation unless we obtain money for our clients.