Redondo Beach Disability Discrimination Lawyer
Back in 1990, Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a landmark piece of civil rights legislation. Among other things, the ADA made it clear that employers could not discriminate against employees and job applicants on the basis of a physical or mental disability. California employment law contains similar provisions.
Yet even decades after the ADA’s adoption, many employers have still not gotten the message that it is against the law to treat workers less favorably due to a medical condition. If you are currently facing such a situation, an experienced Redondo Beach disability discrimination lawyer can help. At the Obagi Law Group, P.C., we represent workers who have been denied access to employment or a reasonable accommodation to enable their employment. We can help you in seeking monetary compensation and other legal damages.
How the Law Defines Disability Discrimination
The ADA and California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) both prohibit discrimination on the basis of a physical or mental disability. This includes cases where an employer treats an employee less favorably because they have a history of disability or the employer believes–even incorrectly–that the employee has a disability.
Treating an employee less favorably in this context basically means that the employer cannot base any employment-related decision on a real or perceived disability. This includes any of the following:
- refusing to hire a job applicant;
- terminating, discharging, or refusing to promote an employee;
- disciplining, demoting, or retaliating against an employee;
- refusing to select an employee for a training program;
- paying an employee less in terms of wages, salary, or benefits than other employees performing similar work; or
- harassing an employee or creating a hostile work environment.
In addition, an employer must provide a “reasonable accommodation” for a job applicant or employee’s disability when requested. Such accommodations are considered reasonable when they are necessary for someone to perform the essential functions of their job and it will not impose an undue hardship on the employer. Some common examples of reasonable accommodation include modifying work schedules, allowing a blind employee to use a service dog, and providing special equipment to accommodate a disability. While an employer is not required to grant any accommodation requested, it must still engage in a “good-faith interactive process” with the applicant or employee to see if some reasonable accommodation is possible.
Taking Action Against Disability Discrimination
If an employer engages in disability discrimination–including failing to make a reasonable accommodation or refusing to engage in a good-faith interactive process–the affected individual can file a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. These agencies are charged with investigating disability discrimination complaints.
If the agencies cannot resolve your case, they will typically issue you a “right to sue” letter, meaning you can take the employer to court and seek monetary damages and other relief. A skilled Redondo Beach disability discrimination lawyer can provide you with additional legal advice based on the facts of your situation. Contact the Obagi Law Group, P.C., today to schedule a free initial consultation with a member of our California employment law team.