What is Considered Disability Discrimination at Work?

thoughtful manager with a wheelchair user in the team for inclusion and difficultyDid you know that it is illegal to discriminate against someone in the workplace because of their disability? It is important to note that not everyone with a medical condition is protected from disability discrimination. In order to be protected, the impairment must substantially limit a major life activity. This means that the impairment must have a significant impact on your ability to do things that most people can do.

The term “disability discrimination” refers to prejudicial treatment of an employee or a job applicant based on their disability, a history of disability, or even the perception of a disability. Such behavior directly contravenes the principles set forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).

Disability Discrimination: An Overview

Discrimination can take many forms. One may not even realize they are being subjected to unfair treatment, particularly when it is masked under seemingly benign policies or practices. Let’s delve deeper into what qualifies as disability discrimination.

  • Unequal Treatment: An employer cannot treat an employee unfavorably due to a history of disability, such as cancer that is in remission or controlled, or because the employer perceives the employee as having a non-transitory physical or mental impairment.
  • Job Application Procedures: Disability discrimination can also happen during the hiring process. For instance, requiring applicants to undergo medical examinations that are not job-related or refusing to make reasonable adjustments for disabled applicants constitutes discrimination. Another is an employer refuses to hire someone because they have a visible disability.
  • Harassment: Harassment due to a disability is illegal. This can involve offensive remarks about the disability, or creating a hostile work environment through such behavior.
  • Retaliation: An employer cannot retaliate against an individual for asserting their rights to be free from disability discrimination, including harassment.
  • Reasonable Accommodations: Failing to provide reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities can also be considered discrimination unless doing so would cause undue hardship for the employer.

While this is not an exhaustive list, it provides a foundational understanding of the various facets of disability discrimination at work.

Your Rights in the Workplace

If you have been the victim of disability discrimination in the workplace, you have a number of rights. These include:

  • The right to file a complaint.
  • The right to sue your employer for damages.
  • The right to be reinstated to your job if you were fired or demoted because of your disability.
  • The right to be paid back wages for any lost wages.
  • The right to be compensated for emotional distress.

Protecting Yourself from Disability Discrimination

There are a number of things you can do to protect yourself from disability discrimination in the workplace. These include:

  • Be open about your disability with your employer.
  • Ask for reasonable accommodations if you need them.
  • Document any incidents of discrimination.
  • Report any incidents of discrimination to your employer.
  • File a complaint.

Why You Should Engage an Employment Lawyer in San Diego

Confronting disability discrimination can feel overwhelming. However, remember that you are not alone in this journey. The assistance of an employment lawyer in San Diego, John P. Martin, Attorney at Law, can be invaluable.

Here’s how he can support you:

  • Case Evaluation: A thorough review of your situation to determine the presence and extent of discrimination.
  • Legal Advice: Detailed advice tailored to your specific circumstances, enabling informed decisions about potential legal actions.
  • Representation: Robust representation during negotiations or court proceedings, ensuring that your interests are safeguarded.

By hiring a seasoned San Diego employment lawyer, you not only gain a legal advocate but also a trusted ally to navigate the complexities of disability discrimination cases.

Say No to Disability Discrimination

Disability discrimination at work is an unfortunate reality for many. However, through comprehensive federal and state laws like the ADA and FEHA, as well as the availability of skilled San Diego employment lawyers, victims of discrimination are empowered to seek justice.

By understanding the dimensions of disability discrimination and the options available to you, you can transform adversity into action. If you need a work discrimination lawyer, John P. Martin, Attorney at Law is ready to help.

Remember, everyone has the right to a workplace free of discrimination. Stand up for your rights and contact us today. You’re not just defending your rights – you’re promoting a fairer, more inclusive workplace for all. Your action today could change someone’s life tomorrow.