Disability Discrimination at Work
When facing an illness or a physical injury of any kind, it can be difficult to understand what your rights are in the work place or what disability discrimination at work may look like. Under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), your employer is required to make reasonable accommodations to your work duties or work schedule so that you can perform the essential functions of your job within your physical restrictions.
Unfortunately, employers can engage in disability discrimination at work in violation of FEHA without even realizing it. This is why it is important to stay informed regarding your rights as an employee.
Let’s say you work in an office, and you injure yourself at home while moving furniture. You see your doctor who gives you a lifting restriction, you are unable to lift anything over 50 pounds for the next 8 weeks. You notify your employer that you’re ready to return to work, but you’ll need to avoid heavy lifting for at least two months. How your employer responds to you will determine whether or not they are violating FEHA.
Here are a Few Common Responses that are Potential Violations of FEHA:
(1.) Your employer tells you Human Resources get back to you, but despite your multiple phone calls and e-mails your employer never returns your calls. By not returning your calls and not working with you to determine what work you can perform given your limitations or disability, your employer is failing to enter the “interactive process” and is in direct violation of FEHA’s disability discrimination provisions.
(2.) Your employer agrees to bring you back to work but ignores your doctor’s restrictions. If you’ve provided medical documentation showing your restrictions, have asked for help doing your job, and your employer brings you back to work with restrictions, then your employer is required to honor your restrictions. Your employer’s failure to comply with your restrictions is a direct violation of FEHA’s disability discrimination provisions.
(3.) Your employer agrees to bring you back to work but a few days later you’re fired for “poor performance,” despite having an exceptional work record and sterling performance reviews. In this scenario your employer is violating FEHA’s disability discrimination provision by breaching the “duty of good faith and fair dealing.”
(4.) Your employer offers you leave using the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and tells you to “Take as much time as you need. Just rest up and feel better.” However, six weeks later you find out that you’re fired because the company is “restructuring” and your position is being “eliminated”. In this scenario your employer is violating FEHA’s disability discrimination provision by breaching the “duty of good faith and fair dealing.”
(5.) Your employer offers you FMLA Leave and tells you to “Take as much time as you need. Just rest up and feel better.” However, when you call to let your employer know you are ready to come back to work you find out your position has already been filled. In this scenario your employer is violating FEHA’s disability discrimination provision by breaching the “duty of good faith and fair dealing.”
Economic and emotional damages usually occur when these laws are violated. If you believe you may be disabled and have been the victim of disability discrimination it is important that you protect your case. disability discrimination at work, harassment or retaliation should not force you to quit. Get help instead. We know how to fight against disability discrimination. We won’t pressure you and we won’t tell your employer. Call Hogie & Campbell for a Free Consultation at (714) 508-6422.
Hogie & Campbell | Disability Discrimination at Work | Employment Lawyers
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