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Was I Discriminated Against Because Of A Disability?

No one deserves to be disparaged or discriminated against for a disability–ethically, it’s wrong, but legally it can also be punished. Our disability discrimination lawyers are compassionate and understanding when it comes to these types of cases and will answer any questions you have.

If you suspect you’ve been the victim of disability discrimination, call our lawyers today. West Cost Employment Lawyers has over 50 years of combined legal experience in fighting cases like disability discrimination, so reach out today for a free consultation.

The Americans with Disabilities Act protects you from disability discrimination in the workplace if you meet the requirements to successfully do your job. According to ADA, you have a disability if you have a mental or physical impairment which significantly impairs a major aspect or activity in your life.

What Causes Disability Discrimination?

Though some disabilities make work impossible, such at the ones that cause what’s considered “major life activities,” many disabilities can be accommodated. Most disabled individuals are able to work, but may just need reasonable accommodations in order to perform their jobs.

Reporting Disability Discrimination

Always speak with your employer first. Explain your disability and ask for the necessary accommodations to successfully complete your job duties.If your employer has created a hostile environment and you find it difficult to approach them for a conversation, call one of our attorneys.

If your employer doesn’t resolve your complaint, your next step is to file a charge with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or California’s antidiscrimination agency. It is crucial that you first file a charge with the EEOC if you want to preserve your right to sue for disability discrimination.

Examples Of Disability Discrimination

An employer cannot discriminate against you because of your disability.This includes firing you, forcing you to take a leave, or denying you a job or promotion because of your disability. Some examples of disability discrimination might be more subtle, like your employer asking you to unload some heavy boxes when they know you have a physical disability, or asking you to participate in stressful events or conferences if you suffer from PTSD.

Proving Disability Discrimination

Discuss your disability with your supervisor or HR manager and describe how it affects your ability to complete your job related duties. There’s a good chance your employer will hear you out and provide you necessary accommodations.

Ideally, your employer will provide reasonable accommodation once you’ve explained your rights. If your employer still denies your rights, you must file a formal complaint with your employer. This is important because:

  1. Human Resources might adjust your role to accommodate your disability. Filing an internal complaint with your employer also gives them one more opportunity to do the right thing before resorting to legal action.
  2. A formal complaint puts your employer on notice about your discrimination claim. Filing a formal complaint proves you did your part to address the situation. If your complaint isn’t investigated or resolved, your employer’s failure to address the issue will be crucial to supporting your claim. Further, your employer may be liable for punitive damages if you gave them a chance to address the problem and they did nothing. 

Typically, once they have concluded with their investigation, the agency will issue you a right to sue letter. This letter gives you the right to proceed in court with your claim. You can file a lawsuit against your employer once you have a right to sue letter. If you haven’t already consulted with an experienced disability discrimination lawyer, this is the time to do so.

My Employer Denies Discrimination Against Me

An employer is required to provide you with reasonable accommodation to make sure you have the opportunity to be considered for a job. According to the ADA, all employers are required to provide reasonable accommodation to all qualified job applicants or employees with a disability. 

Simply put: an employer cannot refuse to consider you for a job opportunity because you need reasonable accommodation to compete for that job. The ADA also offers protections from retaliation if and when an employee chooses to enforce his or her legal rights. Finally, the ADA can protect you if you were the victim of discrimination because of a familial, social, business or other type of personal relationship with a disabled individual. 

The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) And Disability Discrimination

Title I of ADA makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against a qualified job applicant or employee with a disability. ADA regulations apply to all private employers with 15 or more employees and to all state and government employers, and are enforced by the EEOC.

How does ADA impact me?

ADA protects you from job discrimination in the workplace if you have a disability and also meet the requirements to successfully do a job. According to the ADA, you have a disability if you have a mental or physical impairment which significantly impairs a major aspect or activity in your life. The ADA offers you protection if you have a history of a disability, or even if an employer believes you have a disability, whether or not you actually do.

In order to qualify for protection under the ADA, you must have a record of disability or be regarded as having a substantial impairment. A substantial impairment must significantly restrict and impair a basic life activity. Such impairments include:

  • Seeing
  • Hearing
  • Speaking
  • Walking
  • Breathing
  • Completing manual tasks
  • Taking care of oneself
  • Learning

If you have a disability, you must be qualified enough to perform a job’s essential duties with or without reasonable accommodation — in order to receive protection under the ADA. This means that:

  • You are required to meet an employer’s job requirements, such as education, employment experience, and any necessary skills or licenses.
  • You are required to perform the essential job functions with or without reasonable accommodation.

More ADA Protections

If you have a medical condition, as long as that condition does not significantly prevent you from producing results, the exact nature of your condition should not and cannot be held against you.

Whether you suffer from depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or another type of mental health condition, you are entitled to protection against discrimination and harassment at work. You are also entitled to privacy rights in the workplace. The ADA does not allow employers to ask you any questions that may likely reveal the existence of a disability before they have made you a job offer. 

Simply put, an employer cannot ask if you are disabled or ask about the nature of your disability during the job interview process. 

However, an employer can ask a job applicant if he or she can perform the required job duties with or without reasonable accommodation. An employer cannot require a job applicant to take a medical examination before being offered a job. Further, an employer cannot use the information revealed about your disability after your medical examination to reject you.

West Coast Employment Lawyers Is Here to Help

Our expert disability discrimination lawyers at WCEL will do everything possible to construct effective arguments to win your case. Our attorneys are committed to helping victims of disability discrimination receive full vindication, fair compensation, and the peace of mind they deserve.

If you or a loved one have been wrongfully discriminated against or terminated at work due to their disability, immediately contact West Coast Employment Lawyers for a free, no-obligation consultation. You can reach our legal team 24/7 by calling 213-927-3700 or emailing [email protected].

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