Disability discrimination laws are in place in California and at the federal level to protect people who are differently abled in the workplace—but sometimes, employers violate those laws. When an employer violates disability discrimination laws, the victim may be entitled to financial compensation.
Disability Discrimination Laws in California
In the state of California, employers that have five or more employees cannot treat someone improperly based on his or her physical or mental impairment. Those employers cannot discriminate based on an employee’s:
- Physical disability
- Mental disability
- Medical condition
- Genetic condition
However, in order to qualify for protection under the law, the employee has to be able to perform the job’s “essential functions.” The employer has a legal obligation to make accommodations for people with disabilities unless making accommodations would be very difficult or expensive.
What Disability Discrimination Laws Actually Say
The guidelines in disability discrimination laws—both federal and state—say that employers can’t use a disability against someone. The laws say that:
- Employers have to evaluate job applicants whether or not they have (or appear to have) disabilities.
- Employers cannot ask about the nature or severity of someone’s disability, or require applicants to take medical or psychological exams they don’t routinely give to other applicants.
- Employers are allowed to ask an applicant about his or her ability to perform a certain job and respond to requests for reasonable accommodations.
- Employers are allowed to ask for medical certification if an employee requests accommodations based on a disability.
How Do Disability Discrimination Laws Define Disabilities?
Disability is a very broad term, but typically, a disability is a condition that limits a major life activity. It can be physical, mental, medical, or genetic.
What Laws Protect California’s Disabled Employees?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (a federal law), the California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act, the Unruh Civil Rights Act, and the Disabled Persons Act are all in place to protect disabled employees in Glendale, Los Angeles, and every other city and town in the state.
Americans With Disabilities Act
The Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits employers of 15 or more employees from discriminating against people with disabilities who can still perform a job’s essential functions (with or without reasonable accommodations).
Fair Employment and Housing Act
The Fair Employment and Housing Act of 1959 is the act that prevents employers with five or more employees from discriminating against a person with disabilities.
Unruh Civil Rights Act
The Unruh Civil Rights Act defines disability, genetic information, and other categories that California courts use to determine whether discrimination has taken place in some cases. This act has been modified by the Disabled Persons Act, which generally applies to construction-related accessibility claims.
Were You Discriminated Against Because of a Disability?
Because disability discrimination laws can be complex and vary based on the type and nature of a person’s disability, it may be a good idea to get in touch with a Glendale discrimination lawyer if you suspect you were the victim of this type of unlawful behavior.
Call us at 818-617-9706 or toll-free at 800-774-4163 for a free case evaluation. You could be entitled to financial compensation, and we’ll look at the circumstances of your case to find out whether your employer may have violated federal and state laws by discriminating against you.