Disability discrimination occurs when someone is treated negatively or harassed because of an actual or perceived disability. When this happens in the workplace, these actions are in violation of laws outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This set of laws was established in 1990 and was designed to protect the rights and privileges extended to handicapped people as well as prevent mistreatment and prejudice. Mesriani Law Group has a team of lawyers who are experienced in handling workplace disability discrimination cases in California.
Here are shortcuts to the specific topics:
- 1. Los Angeles Disability Discrimination Attorneys
- 2. How a Disability Discrimination Attorney Can Help
- 3. Why Choose Mesriani Law Group
- 4. What is Disability Discrimination?
- 5. Am I Experiencing Disability Discrimination?
- 6. Examples of Disability Discrimination
- 7. Which Laws Protect Against Disability Discrimination?
How a Disability Discrimination Attorney Can Help
Having a Los Angeles disability discrimination lawyer is critical to maximizing the likelihood of a successful disability discrimination lawsuit. Before a lawsuit can be filed, a formal claim that contains your grievance must be submitted to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). This claim requires evidence and information that an experienced lawyer will understand how to collect and submit. Navigating the EEOC discrimination complaint process is also something that will require the support of an experienced legal team. There are several deadlines that need to be met to ensure that the case is not thrown out. Hiring Mesriani Law Group to represent you will ensure that everything, from collecting evidence to paperwork is completed properly and on time.
Why Choose Mesriani Law Group
While there may be numerous legal counsel options for disability discrimination claims, choosing the right representation for your specific situation is essential to obtaining successful results. At Mesriani Law Group, we provide our clients with the following:
What is Disability Discrimination?
Disability discrimination is categorized as when an individual is treated differently or unequal to others in similar roles. This difference in treatment is usually to the detriment of the person with the disability. This conduct does not have to be committed by the employer but if this activity is permitted to continue in the workplace, it becomes an employer’s responsibility to stop it. This type of discrimination has been prohibited by laws outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Am I Experiencing Disability Discrimination?
Sometimes it can be hard to distinguish if you are dealing with disability discrimination.
- Have you been passed on for promotion when you were qualified?
- Was your disability discussed before being denied for a job?
- Has news of a disability changed how you are being treated at work?
- Are reasonable accommodations being denied?
All these questions need to be answered to determine if how you are being treated at work can qualify as disability discrimination. Sharing your story during a free consultation will really help your legal representation determine the best actions to move forward if you have a disability discrimination claim.
Examples of Disability Discrimination
The following examples identify instances of disability discrimination:
- Exclusion or selection based on mental or physical disability during any stage of employment including hiring, firing, promotions, benefits, time off, etc.
- Workplace harassment prompted by a person’s disability
- Violating an individual’s privacy to personal medical information / requiring medical exams prior to employment
- Not providing reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities
- Unfair job assignments
- Maintaining an environment that creates obstacles for the movement of the handicapped
- Retaliation for disability related medical leave or accommodations
Which Laws Protect Against Disability Discrimination?
The American with Disabilities Act was established to provide an environment better suited for those that were impacted by mental and physical handicaps. It was designed to make the future more inclusive by changing building requirements and employment laws to be more accessible for the disabled. The ADA outlines how buildings must now have certain features that make handicapped access a priority and as the world has become more digital, the ADA has also expanded to encompass the internet and how information is displayed. In addition to creating regulations that encourage access, the ADA also creates strict guidelines that ensure that those that are disabled are still provided the opportunity to live their lives free of discrimination in public and the workplace.
FEHA vs ADA
The Americans with Disabilities Act
Significant federal legislation whose sole focus is improving the quality of life for all individuals that live with a mental or physical disability in public and in the workplace. According to the ADA, a disability is an impairment that substantially limits a major life activity.
The Fair Employment and Housing Act
State level anti-discrimination law that prohibits discrimination against any protected class, including people with disabilities. This law is designed to promote accessibility and deter mistreatment and discrimination. FEHA defines disability as impairment that makes life more difficult.
Key Differences between the ADA and FEHA:
- The definition of “disability” is much more restrictive in the ADA than the FEHA.
- FEHA standards normally exceed those outlined in the ADA but if they do not, FEHA defaults to the ADA minimum standards.
- FEHA places no limitations on the amount an employee can recover in a disability discrimination claim.
- FEHA applies to businesses with 5 or more employees while ADA covers those with 15 or more.
- FEHA provides broader reasonable accommodations than those required by the ADA.
Who is Covered Under the American Disability Act?
Those that are protected under the ADA are any individual with a disability. This is defined as those who:
- Have a physical or mental impairment that affects different aspects of their lives.
- Have a record or can otherwise prove handicap.
- Is understood or seen by others as having some form of handicap.
The anti-disability discrimination laws impact any that is an employee, an ex-employee, prospective hire, transfer, independent contractor, and intern.
It is important to note that disability can be caused by a temporary injury so any retaliation against an individual for taking time off due to injury, surgery, disease, or mental health issue can be grounds for a disability discrimination claim.
Who is Not Covered by the ADA?
Disability coverage does not include mild illnesses like the common cold, flu, or minor GI issues. Nor does it cover certain behavioral issues like gambling, kleptomania, pyromania, drug abuse, or sexual deviancy.
Who Can Be Classified as a Qualified Worker with a Disability?
To be qualified worker with a disability, the worker must be able to perform the basic functions of the jobs if reasonable accommodations are made. This classification allows the expansion of the pool of applicants to those that may be impacted by a physical or mental handicap. Preference does not need to be given to someone with a disability just because they have a disability.
Physical disability is classified as having any physiological disease, dysfunction, condition, or disfigurement that:
- Impacts a major body system
- Limits significant activity unless medications are taken, assistive devices are implemented, or reasonable accommodations are made
- Requires special training or supplemental services
Mental disabilities encompass any psychological disorders like mental illness or learning disabilities that limit a major life activity. Mental health disabilities can apply to those who deal with health conditions like anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder.
Disability protections extend to those suffering from medical conditions, including cancer and genetic disorders.
Determining Reasonable Accommodations Through an Interactive Process
When a worker becomes disabled, employers must provide reasonable accommodations for the affected worker by engaging in what is called an “interactive process.” During this period, an employer must determine an appropriate reasonable accommodation through a system of trial and error to see what accommodations must be made for an employee to be able to do their job effectively. These accommodations can include:
- Flexible work scheduling
- Providing leave for treatment, therapy, or recovery
- Work environment accessibility improvements
- Implementing new processes to accommodate for disability
Both the ADA and FEHA require that employers participate in this interactive process in a manner that does everything possible to keep the disabled employee in their current position. If this approach is not taken to determine reasonable accommodations, employers take the risk of being sued for disability discrimination.
When are Reasonable Accommodations Required?
Employers are responsible for making reasonable accommodations if the accommodations are not cost prohibitive, and the condition qualifies an individual as disabled. This is usually upheld if the condition limits a major life activity like social interaction, basic life functions, working, physical activity, & mental activity.
When Are Reasonable Accommodations Not Required?
Reasonable accommodations are not required when the accommodations are cost prohibitive and cause undue hardship on a business to implement. Most reasonable accommodations should be affordable, but in some instances finding ways to keep a disabled person employed is too much of a financial burden on a business to be sustainable.
What Should You Do if You Have Been a Victim of Disability Discrimination?
If you believe that you have been victim to disability discrimination in the workplace, it is critical to start collecting evidence as soon as an incident occurs. Speak with an experienced disability discrimination lawyer at Mesriani Law Group to determine the correct next actions if you have a strong disability discrimination claim. We will instruct you on how to request reasonable accommodations and how to ensure that your rights are protected while you pursue damages for disability discrimination.
Los Angeles Disability Discrimination Lawyer FAQs
What are three examples of disability discrimination?
The most common examples of disability discrimination in the workplace are failing to provide reasonable accommodations, harassing someone due to their disability, or treating someone unequally in any stage of employment due to their disability.
Can I lose my job because of a disability?
The Americans with Disabilities Act makes it difficult for employers to terminate an employee with a disability without providing reasonable accommodations. These accommodations can include making the current role more accessible, changing roles, adjusting schedules, and providing leave if the accommodations don’t create an undue hardship for the employer.
Can I sue for disability discrimination?
California law allows employees to file a disability discrimination lawsuit against their employers if they have been discriminated against in any employment practices due to their disability.
What is the punishment for disability discrimination?
Disability discrimination in the workplace can result in an employer being held responsible and having to pay out damages in a disability discrimination lawsuit.