For many years, legislators have attempted to level the playing field in the workplace by creating protections for those with disabilities. In California, workers are protected by two powerful laws; the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). Together they provide some of the strongest protections in the country for those who have disabilities that limit employment opportunities.
Despite these safeguards, discrimination on the job still occurs. In these cases, demanding the right to work usually requires the services of a disability discrimination lawyer. Workers who find themselves terminated or passed over for promotion should contact Yedidsion Seber Yedidsion LLP for a no cost review of the facts of the case. California is an ‘employment at will’ state, meaning that there does not need to be a reason given for firing or refusing to hire someone. It requires legal skill and experience from an employment discrimination lawyer to prove that the real reason is disability discrimination.
Do you suspect discrimination was a factor in being denied a job?
Both the Federal ADA and California’s FEHA are very clear about what an employer must do during the application process and for current employees with a disability. The essence of both laws is that people must not be prevented from applying for a job based on a physical, mental or medical disability as long as they are qualified to do the main duties of that job. Employers are restricted from asking about any disability during the application process and are also restricted from requiring medical information during a job interview.
Once the job has been conditionally offered, a medical exam can be required if every other applicant and employee had to undergo the examination prior to hiring and if it is related to the performance of the job. An example of this would be those applying for a position as a warehouse worker where it is necessary to be able to lift a certain weight as part of the job. In this case even a height requirement might be discriminatory since an accommodation could be made for shorter applicants while ability to lift a certain weight is a physical ability.
If you have been denied the right to apply for a job, or have been refused the position due to personal information coming from a medical exam or other information sources, there may be a violation of your rights. The important point is whether or not you are qualified in terms of education and experience and you can do the main requirements of the job. You cannot be denied a position because of any condition that does not impede your ability to do that job. YSY Law can fight for you if any of the above has been violated.
Cancer, HIV/AIDs and Hepatitis are Disabilities under the FEHA
In California, the definitions of mental and physical disability have recently been amended to include conditions such as HIV/AIDs, epilepsy, hepatitis, multiple sclerosis and heart disease. Some mental disorders are also considered disabilities under the law. An experienced disability attorney in Los Angeles can advise on exactly what is covered under the law and what can be done when employee rights have been violated.
Once hired, employees may not be required to take physical or psychological tests or be asked to supply information on the extent of a medical condition as an ongoing condition of employment. There are a few exceptions related to safety on the job but these are rarely causes for employee rights violations.
For example, a fire fighter with an asthma condition that has become markedly worse would possibly be in danger while fighting a fire due to smoke inhalation. In that case both the ADA and FEHA require the employer make reasonable accommodations so that he or she could either a modified firefighter job, or be moved to another position. This could be a permanent move or a temporary solution depending on medical advice.
Were you disabled on the job? You are protected under the ADA and FEHA
If you are injured at work and are on a leave of absence while recovering, your job cannot be terminated simply because you have been deemed temporarily disabled. In this case Workers Compensation will cover the injured employee in terms of pay and rehabilitation expenses but the rights and responsibilities of ADA, FEHA and Workers Compensation overlap.
While this can get quite complicated, employees just need to focus on whether or not they can do their job after they have recovered or whether they will need a reasonable accommodation to allow them to do the job. Employers who work in good faith to try and accommodate a disabled worker are in the majority. There are other employers who refuse to adhere to the good faith requirement in the law concerning providing a way for a disabled person to continue to support himself.
How to Proceed with a Disability Discrimination Complaint
If you suspect you are the victim of disability discrimination, you are required to file a formal complaint with either the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the FEHA. A complaint must be filed prior to filing a discrimination lawsuit within a certain time frame.
To protect your rights you should contact Yedidsion Seber Yedidsion LLP as soon as you suspect disability discrimination. As employment discrimination lawyers we have helped thousands of employees in Los Angeles with their workplace discrimination claims obtaining meaningful compensation for loss of income, mental anguish and attorney fees.
If you believe that you have been the victim of any type of employment discrimination, our disability discrimination attorneys want to help make sure that your needs are finally met and that your rights are finally protected. Call us at 310-402-2775 for a free confidential consultation.
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At Yedidsion Seber Yedidsion LLP, our lawyers in Los Angeles work diligently with our clients to achieve the maximum settlement while protecting your legal interests every step of the way. Let us evaluate your case today, at no charge.
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