Can My Employer Ask for Proof of Disability?
If you have a disability, you probably know that federal and state laws protect you from discrimination at work. The most notable law that provides protections to disabled employees is the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).
However, employees who have a disability may wonder, “Can my employer ask for proof of my disability?” If your employer has requested proof of disability, it is best to consult with a Los Angeles discrimination & harassment attorney to learn about your rights.
Can My Employer Require Proof of Disability?
In most cases, employees do not need to provide proof of their disability when requesting reasonable accommodations. If your accommodations are reasonable, your employer must provide an adjustment or change at work without asking for proof of your disability.
However, employers have a right to require proof of disability when they do not believe that an employee’s disability exists. In that case, employers may ask for medical documentation that proves that an employee has a disability.
When this happens, the employee may only provide sufficient documentation to prove the need for the accommodation being requested. If an employer requests more proof of disability, they are violating the ADA.
Can My Employer Ask About My Disability?
Disability is considered a protected characteristic under federal and state workplace discrimination laws. Therefore, employers are prohibited from asking job applicants about their disability at any point in the recruitment process, including during a job interview.
Under federal law, an employer is allowed to ask an applicant about a disability only after the company hires the applicant. However, the questions about an employee’s disability should be limited to those necessary to provide reasonable accommodations.
A job applicant cannot be turned down based on their disability alone. While California and federal laws prohibit employers from asking job applicants questions about their disability, an employer may legally ask an applicant whether they are able to perform essential job functions.
Note: An employer is violating the ADA by asking any prospective employee directly during the hiring process if the applicant has any disability.
When Can I Sue My Employer for Disability Discrimination?
You have a right to disclose your disability during the hiring process, though there is no law requiring you to disclose your disability when applying or being interviewed for a job.
When you are hired by an employer, you can disclose your disability if you wish to request accommodations.
You may have grounds to pursue a discrimination lawsuit against an employer in the following situations:
- You decide to disclose your disability, and the employer refuses to hire you;
- The employer turns down your requests to provide reasonable accommodations after you disclose your disability; or
- The employer terminates your employment after learning about your disability
Federal and state laws prohibit employers from discriminating or retaliating against employees after discovering their disability. If you believe that you have been a victim of disability discrimination, contact our Los Angeles employment law attorneys at Obagi Law Group P.C., as soon as possible.
Schedule a consultation with our discrimination lawyers by calling 424-284-2401.