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Disability Discrimination Claims in Los Angeles, CA

In California, state and federal laws prohibit companies from discriminating against job candidates and employees based on their disabled status. While employers can consider job candidates’ and employees’ disabilities in some cases, all disability-related employment decisions must have a clear factual basis under the law. Many disability-based employment decisions are improper, and if you believe your rights may have been violated, you should speak with a Los Angeles disability discrimination lawyer promptly.

At Attorneys for Employees, our lawyers bring decades of relevant experience to representing workers with disabilities in Los Angeles. We handle disability discrimination claims under California and federal law. Whether you are interested in seeking job placement, reinstatement, reasonable accommodations, financial compensation, or other remedies, we can fully explain your options and take all necessary legal steps on your behalf.

Workers with Disabilities in Los Angeles Have Clear Legal Rights

There are two primary laws that protect workers with disabilities in Los Angeles. These are the Americans with Disabilities Act and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act:

Disabled Workers’ Rights Under the Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law that applies to employers with 15 or more employees. Under the ADA, covered employers are prohibited from making employment-related decisions based on a job applicant’s or employee’s disabled status—with a few exceptions. Covered employers also must generally provide “reasonable accommodations” to employees who need them in order to do their jobs safely and comfortably.

Disabled Workers’ Rights Under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act 

The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) is California’s general anti-discrimination law. It prohibits discrimination in employment based on numerous protected characteristics, including disability. FEHA applies to employers with five or more employees, and, similar to the ADA, it requires employers to provide both non-discriminatory treatment and reasonable accommodations to workers who have disabilities.

Employers can violate the ADA and FEHA in several different ways. This includes making employment and compensation decisions based on job applicants’ or employees’ disabilities, making other discriminatory employment-related decisions (i.e., decisions regarding job assignments or work locations), and failing to provide reasonable accommodations. The ADA and FEHA apply to both intentional and unintentional discrimination, and you can (and should) hire a Los Angeles disability discrimination attorney regardless of why you believe your employer (or a prospective employer) discriminated against you.

A Los Angeles Disability Discrimination Law Firm Built on Experience

With almost 50 years of combined experience, we know what it takes to deliver results in disability discrimination cases. We also know how difficult it can be to reach out for help and the anxiety you feel when facing an uncertain future. We provide confidential, empathetic representation focused on empowering our clients. We give you the information you need to make an informed decision about how to overcome the challenges you are facing and then help you put them behind you. When you work with Attorneys for Employees, you get a Los Angeles disability discrimination lawyer who knows how to deliver results.

What Conditions Are Recognized as Disabilities? 

Under federal law, disabilities are physical or mental impairments that substantially limit one or more major life activities such as walking, sleeping, or caring for oneself. California law defines disabilities more broadly as any impairment that makes a major life activity difficult. As a result, a worker who may not be considered disabled under federal law may qualify under California law. 

These statutes are interpreted broadly and there is no exhaustive list of conditions recognized as disabilities. Many employers and employees do not realize how many disabilities are recognized under the law. As mentioned above, disabilities can be both mental or physical. While many disabilities are obvious, many workers with disabilities that are not apparent are subject to discrimination. Here are some examples of conditions that are recognized as disabilities that you may not be aware of: 

  • Depression
  • Asthma
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Heart disease
  • Thyroid gland disorders
  • Migraine headaches
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Alcoholism
  • AIDS

You may have a claim for disability discrimination if your employer refuses to acknowledge your disability, refuses to provide a reasonable accommodation, or is otherwise taking adverse action against you. You may also have a claim for disability discrimination if you were not hired due to your disability. Whatever the case may be, a Los Angeles disability discrimination lawyer can assess your case, determine whether you have a claim, and help you assert your rights. 

Common Forms of Discrimination Prohibited Under the ADA and FEHA: When Your Disability Becomes a Target

The ADA and FEHA prohibit most forms of disability-based discrimination in employment. This includes common forms of discrimination such as:

1. Discriminatory Employment Decisions

Employers covered under the ADA and FEHA are prohibited from denying employment opportunities, compensation, and benefits to job applicants and employees based on their disabled status. While there are some exceptions, these exceptions are limited. If you have experienced any of the following and believe that your disability may have been a factor, we recommend that you consult with one of our Los Angeles disability discrimination lawyers about your legal rights:

  • Denial of employment
  • Denial of a raise, promotion, training, or benefits
  • Denial of job assignments or opportunities
  • Unequal compensation (for substantially similar work)
  • Wrongful termination

2. Discriminatory Employment Policies and Practices

Job applicants and employees with disabilities can also pursue claims under the ADA and FEHA based on the adoption or enforcement of discriminatory employment policies and practices. This includes policies and practices that have a discriminatory purpose and those that have a discriminatory effect.

While it is illegal for covered employers to adopt policies that expressly disadvantage disabled workers (i.e., a policy that prohibits hiring individuals with certain disabilities), it is also illegal for covered employers to adopt policies that are facially neutral but nonetheless disadvantageous to workers with disabilities. Even if a facially neutral policy is not intended to have a discriminatory impact, it can still support a claim for disability discrimination.

3. Disability Harassment

As the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) explains, “It is illegal to harass an applicant or employee because of a current or past disability[,] an actual or perceived physical or mental impairment that is not transitory and minor, or for association with an individual with a disability.” Forms of disability harassment include making offensive remarks, belittling, and engaging in inappropriate physical conduct. When disability harassment creates a hostile or offensive work environment, this can justify pursuing a claim for discrimination under the ADA or FEHA.

4. Denial of Reasonable Accommodations

Both the ADA and FEHA require employers in California to provide reasonable accommodations to employees who request them. A reasonable accommodation is a change to an employer’s normal business practices or work environment that accommodates an employee’s disability. Employers do not have to honor an employee’s specific requested reasonable accommodations; however, an accommodation is not “reasonable” if it creates an “undue hardship.” With that said, when employers deny requests for reasonable accommodations, the denial can give rise to disability discrimination claims in many instances.

5. Retaliation Against Disabled Workers and Whistleblowers

Anti-discrimination laws prohibit employers from retaliating against workers who assert their legal rights. They also prohibit retaliation against whistleblowers who report discriminatory conduct to protect their coworkers. If you have experienced adverse employment action (up to and including termination) after reporting a violation of the ADA or FEHA, our Los Angeles disability discrimination attorneys at Attorneys for Employees can help you take appropriate legal action.

Discrimination against individuals with disabilities is not acceptable under any circumstances. If you believe you may be a victim, you should discuss your legal rights with a lawyer promptly. The ADA and FEHA protect you, and you can—and should—hire an experienced lawyer to seek appropriate remedies.

Experienced Representation: Why Choose a Los Angeles Disability Discrimination Lawyer

If you have been discriminated against on the basis of your disability, understanding your rights and the remedies available to you is vital for your claim. California law offers greater protection to disabled workers but has unique requirements for pursuing a claim. A Los Angeles disability discrimination lawyer will know how California law applies to your case and how to navigate the claim process. 

Reasonable Accommodations Denied? A Los Angeles Lawyer Can Help Fight Back

Talking about your experience as a victim of discrimination can be difficult. We provide confidential consultations so that we can have a candid conversation about the challenges that you are facing. This allows us to thoroughly assess your case and provide you with the guidance you need to move forward. Ultimately, our goal is to empower you to help yourself and others who are unable to come forward. 

Get Help Today: Free Consultation with a Los Angeles Disability Discrimination Lawyer

A Los Angeles disability discrimination lawyer at Attorneys for Employees is available to speak with you if you have questions about filing a disability discrimination claim in Los Angeles. To schedule a confidential initial consultation with a Los Angeles disability discrimination attorney at Attorneys for Employees as soon as possible, send us your contact information online today.