Disability Discrimination and Accommodation
WJA firm handles a large amount of disability discrimination cases every year, litigating them all the way to trial, obtaining impressive seven-figure results. In 2014, WJA obtained a $1.4 million disability discrimination verdict on behalf of an apartment manager (total recovery was $2 million), who was fired after taking her disability leave (pre-trial offer was $20,000). In 2015, our firm obtained a $550,000 verdict on behalf of a school night custodian (total recovery was $1 million), who was terminated after he injured his back (pre-trial offer was only $50,000).
California disability laws are so complicated, that even experienced human resource managers (and company attorneys) often make serious mistakes. Both California and Federal law make it illegal for employers to treat you differently because of your disabilities or medical conditions. Employers cannot refuse to reasonably accommodate or to refuse to engage in a good faith interactive process with you to determine what accommodations are needed for you. However, most employers don’t communicate well or have most junior human resources managers handle disability leave and accommodation requests.
These laws protect you whether you are actually disabled or merely perceived as being disabled by your employer. Therefore, even you have no actual disability, the employer may still be liable if they mistakenly believe that you are disabled and treat you unfavorably because of it.
If you have a physical or mental disability or serious medical condition and your employer refuses to grant you reasonable accommodations (such as a medical leave of absence, flexible hours, temporary light duty or job restructuring) then you may have a good case against them. Contact our experienced disability discrimination attorneys at Workplace Justice Advocates, PLC today to see if you have a case.
Once your employer becomes aware that you have a medical condition or disability, they are obligated under the law to engage in a good faith interactive process with you in order to determine what accommodations you may need and if they can provide them. The term “good faith” means that your employer must promptly and honestly discuss your available options and that they cannot simply “go through the motions” and arbitrarily deny your requests.
If you can still perform the essential functions of your job with or without the accommodations, your employer must grant them unless they can prove it would be an unreasonable financial burden for them to do so. Therefore, it is important that you know the essential functions of your job and that you receive a list of essential functions from your employer that accurately reflects them.If You Have a Disability or Medical Condition, Contact our Disability Discrimination Attorneys if:
- You have been terminated, demoted, denied a promotion, reassigned to an unfavorable job/location or denied employment due to your medical condition or disability
- Your employer takes your medical condition or disability into account in punishing or terminating you (example: firing you for being late to work because you have a sleep disorder or other medical condition)
- You have been denied a medical leave or accommodations by your employer
- Your employer knows of your condition and does not discuss accommodations with you
- Your employer knows of your condition and does not provide you with information about your right to take a medical leave under FMLA or CFRA
- Your employer terminates you after or during a medical leave of absence