In California, it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee because of their disability. Moreover, if an employer is aware of your condition, they are required to engage in an interactive process with you to determine how they might reasonably accommodate your condition. 

As a current or prospective employee, you should not have to worry about how your disability will affect your employment opportunities or treatment at work. If you have suffered discrimination based on a disability, or if your employer has refused to accommodate your disability, contact the experienced employment lawyers at Blackstone Law. We can help you hold your employer accountable and seek damages in cases where your legal rights have been violated.

Overview of California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act 

Under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), it is illegal for employers to discriminate against current or prospective employees based on physical disabilities, mental disabilities, or medical conditions that affect a major life activity, such as working or caring for one’s self.

The following physical and mental conditions, among many others, are protected under the FEHA: 

  • Loss of limbs
  • Blindness
  • Broken bones
  • Heart disease
  • Hypertension
  • Epilepsy
  • Back injuries
  • Brain tumors 
  • Mental impairment
  • Learning disabilities
  • Depression
  • Other conditions that require special education or related services

As mentioned above, employers must provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities, as long as those employees can perform the essential duties of their job with or without an accommodation. If the employee cannot perform their job without endangering the health and safety of themselves or others, an employer may not have to accommodate them. 

When an employer becomes aware of an employee’s disability, they must engage in an interactive process with that employee to discuss potential accommodations. Accommodations can include actions such as modifying an employee’s schedule, restructuring an employee’s duties, or providing equipment or tools that enable the employee to perform their tasks. Employers are not required to provide accommodations that create an excessive burden or financial hardship for the employer.

Suing for Disability Discrimination in California 

Depending on the unique circumstances of your case, you may be able to sue your employer for disability discrimination. The following examples represent acts of discrimination that could form the basis of a claim in California: 

  • Declining to hire an employee because of an actual or perceived disability.
  • Terminating an employee for requesting a reasonable accommodation related to their disability.
  • Bypassing an employee for a promotion or training program because the employee has a disability. 
  • Offering fewer privileges and benefits to an employee with a disability. 
  • Reducing pay or offering different compensation to employees with disabilities.
  • Demoting or failing to promote an employee who went on medical leave for their disability. 

Further, under the FEHA, it is also illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee who engages in protected activity, such as reporting instances of disability discrimination. 

Speak With the California Employment Lawyers at Blackstone Law 

If you have suffered disability discrimination, experienced retaliation, or have been denied accommodations in the workplace, the employment lawyers at Blackstone Law can help you.

We have an extensive track record of success and dedicate ourselves to ensuring your legal rights are protected from initial consultation to resolution. Request a no-cost consultation by calling (310) 956-4054 or filling out our contact form.