Protecting Worker's Rights with Honesty and Precision
Santa Clarita Disability Discrimination Attorney
Santa Clarita Employment Lawyer
Employees and job applicants with disabilities are protected from harassment and discrimination based on their disabilities by federal and state law. Title I and Title V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits discrimination in the workplace against qualified employees and job-seekers with disabilities in the private sector, in state and local governments. Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Sections 501 and 505 prohibit discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities who work in the federal government. The U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission is in charge of enforcing these laws.
If you, a family member, or a friend has been subjected to harassment or discrimination in the workplace based on disability anywhere in the Santa Clarity Valley in California, you can seek legal recourse through a Santa Clarita employment law attorney at our firm. We offer a free, initial consultation with one of our attorneys in which you can discuss your situation and get legal guidance on what needs to be done to address the situation. Our firm fights for the rights of individuals with disabilities.
Employment decisions should not be based on stereotypes of or assumptions about the abilities or performance of individuals who happen to be disabled. As a qualified employee or job-seeker, you should not be subjected to this kind of harassment or prejudicial treatment. A qualified individual is someone who satisfies skill, experience, education, or other job-related requirements for the position held or sought and who can, with or without reasonable accommodation, perform the functions of that position.
It is important to consult with a Santa Clarita employment lawyer about the specifics of your harassment or disability discrimination situation to get sound and specific legal advice from which you can make informed decisions. We look forward to serving you.
What Is the FEHA Definition of Disability?
The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) defines mental and physical disabilities and medical conditions entitled to accommodations. According to the FEHA, a physical disability refers to any condition, disorder, physiological disease, or disfigurement that impacts a person's body systems and limits their daily life activities. Body systems can include the:
- respiratory (including speech organs),
- hemic and lymphatic,
- and skin systems.
The FEHA also recognizes health conditions that require special education or similar services, a history or record of an impairment known to an employer, and being perceived or treated by an employer as if you have such a condition as physical disabilities. Under this act, mental disabilities refer to any mental or psychological condition or specific learning disabilities that can impact major life activity or requires special education or services.
Medical conditions include any health impairment associated with a cancer diagnosis, history or record of cancer, or a genetic characteristic. A genetic characteristic refers to an inherited characteristic or medically identifiable gene that can statistically lead to the development of a disease or disorder.
Examples of Disability Discrimination in the Workplace
There are four primary types of workplace disability discrimination. These include:
- Direct discrimination. This type of disability discrimination refers to a direct decision made against or involving an employee based on their disability status. Such decisions can include not hiring a qualified candidate, failing to provide favorable work conditions, or denying access to training or career opportunities because of a person’s disability status.
- Indirect discrimination. This type of disability discrimination occurs when an employer has a policy, requirement, or practice that applies to everyone yet disadvantages employees with a disability. For instance, company policy may require all employees to eat take their 15-minute brak in the breakroom. However, an employee with mobility issues may not be able to travel to and from the break area within that time allotment.
- Harassment and retaliation. This type of disability discrimination occurs when an employee is insulted or taunted through verbal, written, or physical acts that are considered hostile, embarrassing, or threatening. For instance, an employee that is sent emails or taunted in the parking lot for using a handicap space can be a victim of harassment. Retaliation occurs when such acts are done after an employee files a discrimination suit.
- Failure to accommodate reasonable requests. Legally, employers should make reasonable accommodations for their employees; a reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment that allows an employee with a disability to have equal employment opportunities as other employees. Many workplace disability discrimination claims arise because of failures to make accommodations when it is possible to do so.
How Do You Win a Disability Discrimination Case?
To build a strong case, you will first need to collect compelling evidence, which can include:
- Medical documentation that establishes your disability
- Records of requests for reasonable accommodations and the employer's response
- Any written or electronic communication related to the discrimination
- Performance evaluations, disciplinary actions, or other documents that show a pattern of unfair treatment
To achieve favorable results in a disability discrimination case, you should also:
- Document interactions with your employer. Keep a detailed record of all interactions with your employer regarding your disability and any discriminatory treatment you have experienced. This can include meetings, phone calls, emails, and other forms of communication. Be sure to note the date, time, and details of each interaction.
- Identify witnesses. If any coworkers or other individuals have witnessed the discriminatory treatment, ask them if they would be willing to provide testimony in support of your case. Their statements can strengthen your claim and help establish a pattern of discrimination.
- Retain qualified legal counsel. A knowledgeable attorney specializing in disability discrimination cases is invaluable. They can guide you through the legal process, help gather evidence, and represent you in negotiations or court proceedings.
- File a complaint. Before filing a lawsuit, you may need to file a complaint with the appropriate government agency, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in the United States. This agency will investigate your claim and may attempt to mediate a resolution between you and your employer. If the agency is unable to resolve the issue, they may grant you a "right to sue" letter, allowing you to proceed with a lawsuit.
Factors that can impact the outcome of your disability discrimination case include:
- The extent of the employer's non-compliance. The degree to which the employer failed to provide reasonable accommodations or engaged in discriminatory practices can significantly influence the outcome of the case.
- The case legalities. The strength of the evidence, the credibility of witnesses, and the effectiveness of your legal representation all play a role in determining the outcome of your case.
Why Work with Our Firm?
While your employer may not act in your best interest, the attorneys at Markson Pico LLP can. Having successfully represented numerous clients with similar cases, our firm has demonstrated time and again our unwavering commitment to fighting for the rights of individuals with disabilities.
What truly sets us apart from other firms is our dedication to providing personalized, compassionate, and effective legal representation. Our disability discrimination attorneys understand that each client's situation is unique, and we work tirelessly to ensure that every individual receives the attention and care they deserve.
Our attorneys are not only knowledgeable and accomplished professionals but are also empathetic advocates who will stand by your side throughout the entire process. Reach out to our team today for legal counsel tailored specifically to your unique circumstances.
Call (661) 434-4333 today!