Employer Retaliation Against Employees Who Request Disability Accommodations
Requesting reasonable accommodations for a disability is a legally protected action; this means that it is against the law for employers to retaliate against employees who request accommodations, such as by harassing the employee at work or terminating the employee’s employment. It is not against the law, however, for the employer not to make the accommodations in exactly the form in which the employee originally requested them. Employers may decide, on a case-by-case basis, which accommodations are reasonable, and the employer and employee should negotiate until they reach an agreement about accommodations that would enable the employee to do his or her job and which the employer can afford to make. California law requires employers to initiate the negotiations about accommodations when an employee discloses a temporary or permanent disability or when an employee suffers a work injury. In many cases, refusal to make reasonable accommodations for an employee with a disability is only one of many problems in the workplace environment. If things only got worse at your workplace after you requested accommodations for a disability, consider contacting a Los Angeles discrimination and harassment lawyer.
When a Work Injury Makes a Hostile Work Environment Even More Hostile
An appeals court in California recently issued a decision on a case involving multiple forms of discrimination, and refusal to make reasonable accommodations for a disability. The plaintiff had immigrated from India to California and was working as a yield monitor at a poultry processing plant. Even before her work injury, she was sometimes the target of harassment about her race and national origin; one of her supervisors and one of her coworkers participated in the harassment.
In 2013, the plaintiff broke her wrist when she slipped on the floor of her workplace while wearing her work-issued boots. She filed a workers’ compensation claim, which is also a protected activity, and a lengthy dispute over the claim ensued. Meanwhile, the harassment got worse, as another supervisor began to participate in it. Her employer also refused to make accommodations for the plaintiff’s partial disability resulting from her work injury. Things got progressively worse until the employer terminated the employee’s employment in 2016.
The plaintiff sued her former employer after her employment was terminated, but the lawsuit turned out to be very complex. The employer claimed that some of the plaintiff’s claims were time barred and that the statute of limitations had expired, and that others were barred by her workers’ compensation claim
Refusal to make accommodations for a disability is sometimes only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the mistreatment of workers. When you meet with a lawyer about your employer’s refusal to make accommodations for a disability, you should discuss all the other issues that have occurred with your employer, so that you do not miss the opportunity to take appropriate legal action.
Speak With a Los Angeles Disability Discrimination Lawyer
A Los Angeles disability discrimination lawyer can help you if your employer retaliated against you for requesting disability accommodations. Contact Obagi Law Group, P.C. in Los Angeles, California to discuss your situation or call 424-284-2401.