Glendale Disability Discrimination Lawyer
All employers should treat employees with respect in the workplace, including those with disabilities. As an employee in the U.S., you have protections from discrimination under federal and state laws that make it illegal for employers to fire or refuse to hire you because of a physical or mental disability as long as you can perform the job.
If you believe an employer discriminated against you because of your disability, you may take legal action to seek compensation. Glendale employment law lawyers at Berberian Ain LLP can protect your rights and help you hold your employer accountable for their actions.
What Are Examples of Disability Discrimination?
Disability discrimination refers to treating people differently based on their disabilities. It can take many forms, including:
- Offensive or harmful remarks and jokes about a disability
- Physical barriers in the workplace that prevent employees with disabilities from moving freely
- Discrimination in recruitment, hiring, firing, promotions, and training due to physical or mental disability
- Refusal of reasonable accommodations for employees with physical or mental disability
The disability discrimination you have experienced at work may have resulted from intentional actions or thoughtlessness from your employer. For example, if you have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and your employer refuses to let you interact with customers or clients or teases you about your moods, it may be disability discrimination.
When you experience discrimination, you can work with a disability claim lawyer to understand your rights. Your attorney can determine if discrimination occurred based on your description of events and offer advice on how best to proceed with your case.
Understanding Workplace Protection Rights for People with Disabilities in California
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act don’t allow discrimination based on disability against qualified employees or applicants. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces the prohibition of discrimination against employees with disabilities at the federal level.
The Definition of Disability Under Federal Laws
The EEOC defines a person with a disability under the ADA if they have the following conditions:
- Physical or mental illness impairing a significant life activity such as walking or seeing
- Record of a disability
- Having a physical or mental impairment that causes the employer to act adversely
The ADA only applies to employers with 15 or more employees. It also limits the damages you may receive depending on the number of employees working with your employer. For instance, the cap is $50,000 for employers with between 14 and 100 employees.
California’s Disability Definition
California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) is the state’s version of the ADA. Under FEHA, employers with 5 or more employees may not discriminate against employees based on physical disability, mental disability, medical conditions, or genetic information. These conditions must limit a significant life activity for your situation to qualify as a disability.
FEHA contains an inclusive description of disabilities. For instance, mental disabilities can include:
- Mental illness
- Intellectual disability
- Organic Brain Syndrome
- Emotional illness
- Any mental or psychological disorder that requires special services
Abuse of illegal drugs, sexual behavior disorders, compulsive stealing, or pyromania does not fall under mental disabilities.
If your disability falls under the definition of disability under FEHA, you may file a complaint against your employer with one of Berberian Ain LLP’s lawyers for long-term disability. Unlike the ADA, FEHA does not restrict the amount of compensation an employee can receive in a claim. In California, your disability discrimination lawyer can help you seek fair compensation for the mistreatment you endured at the hands of your employer.
Where to File Your Disability Discrimination Claim
When you work with Berberian Ain LLP, one of our lawyers for medication conditions can review the details of your case and help you understand where to file your complaint. If you decide to sue your employer under state law, you must file with California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).
Under these circumstances, you must file your claim no later than 3 years from the date of the alleged discriminatory act. The DFEH may issue a right-to-sue notice after you file your complaint. You then have 1 year to file your lawsuit against your employer in civil court. The statute of limitations starts on the date of issuance of your notice.
How Can I Prove Discrimination Based on Disability?
To prove you have a discrimination disability case in California, you need to demonstrate these elements:
You Suffered Your Disability
Medical records, including your doctor’s diagnosis and ongoing treatment, can prove your disability under FEHA and ADA. For instance, if you claim discrimination based on a physical disability, your physical therapy sessions and doctor’s notes can help prove your condition.
You Could Perform Your Job with Reasonable Accommodation
Evidence such as the job description from the original job posting, onboarding documents, and training materials can prove you are qualified for the job. Any witness testimonies about the job duties and tasks you were to perform can help show you are capable of working in your position.
You may also need to provide information about how your condition affects your ability to work. For instance, you require a modified desk with a keyboard armrest and finger guides on keyboards if you use a wheelchair.
Your Disability Was the Cause of Your Employer’s Adverse Discrimination
Statements from your employer about your disability can serve as evidence of disability discrimination. Evidence can include:
- Employment records showing that you were terminated shortly after requesting leave for treatment or accommodation
- Correspondence from your employer that shows discriminatory actions against your disability
- Witness statements from employees and other witnesses who know about the situation
An experienced Glendale disability lawyer can gather all the relevant evidence to develop your case and build a legal strategy. They can use federal and state laws regarding disability discrimination to create a legal strategy and maximize the financial damages you may receive in a settlement.
What Legal Remedies Are Available in a Disability Discrimination Case?
Your lawyer can handle negotiations for you to obtain damages allowed under state or federal law. Disability discrimination legal remedies allowed by the EEOC and FEHA include:
- Past and future lost earnings
- Emotional distress
- Hiring and reinstatement of your position
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Policy updates
- Reasonable accommodations
A Glendale Disability Lawyer Can Help You File a Discrimination Claim
Berberian Ain LLP will work on your behalf to investigate your disability discrimination case. Our disability discrimination lawyers in Glendale, CA, can help you file an initial claim and prepare your case for trial if needed after going through the DFEH.
We can help you explore other options for compensation, including filing a claim for EDD disability insurance from the Employment Development Department (EDD) if you can no longer work. A lawyer for a disability claim can help you collect your medical records and put together your application for disability insurance benefits.
Contact Berberian Ain LLP today for a free consultation. We can discuss the facts of your case and help you get started on your disability discrimination case.