Employees are protected by disability discrimination laws at both the state and federal level. The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), Unruh Civil Rights Act, and California Disabled Persons Act (CDPA) make discrimination against persons with a mental or physical disability illegal in the state of California. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) goes further to protect applicants and employees from employment discrimination based on disability at the federal level.
If you feel that you’ve been wrongly discriminated against in a workplace, contact a disability discrimination attorney so they can advise you in taking action against your employer and help to prevent discrimination from reoccurring.
What Causes Disability Discrimination?
A general lack of knowledge about disabilities is one of the main reasons disability discrimination continues to exist in the workplace. For example, employer oversight regarding the rights of those who do not display physical symptoms of disability is a leading reason disability discrimination cases are ever presenting. Employees with visible and invisible disabilities alike are equally protected by state and federal laws.
Discrimination can present at the workplace in many ways. It can affect both recruitment and termination decisions and opportunities related to training, promotion, and career enhancement. Disabled employees who are bypassed for job assignments, receive reduced pay and/or benefits, forced on leave or laid off, or experience any other such employment-related incidents are all protected by discrimination laws, regardless of how they qualify.
Pregnancy discrimination can also fall under discrimination law, since some pregnancy-related impairments may be considered disabilities under ADA.
What Is the Interactive Process in California?
Though employees are not required to disclose if they have a physical or mental impairment, employers are required to provide an “interactive process” to support employees who they feel may need reasonable accommodations.
The process may be started by an employee simply coming forth and requesting specific accommodations; again, employee disclosure of specific disabilities is not necessary. Employers may also initiate the process at their discretion if they detect any indication of poor health or a medical condition, regardless of the source of information, or if a supervisor observes barriers to an employee’s job performance.
The interactive process can lead to a better working environment for an employee, whether it be via adjusted hours, job restructuring or reassignment, additional training or equipment modifications, or providing information on the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or California Family Rights Act (CFRA).
An employee who decides to initiate getting assistance should be able to prove to the employer that their disabilities do exist and have a good-faith conversation on the best way to move forward for mutual success.
In any instance, if you, as an employee, feel your employer has not adequately followed this process, please contact our law office for help filing a claim against said employer.
Contact HKM Today
If you’re in Southern California and have been discriminated against in the workplace based on a physical or mental disability, contact HKM Employment Attorneys so we can help you.
HKM Employment Attorneys in San Diego specializes in employment law. As such, we are knowledgeable and experienced at navigating lawsuits in defense of local and federal laws. Our employment law attorneys offer legal advice in a number of practice areas and are ready to help with any number of employment-related issues, from wrongful termination to workplace discrimination.