Both California law and the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) allow for protection of people with disabilities. It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against individuals with a physical or mental disability. If you have a disability, here’s what you need to know about the law.
A protected disability is any mental or physical disability that impairs your ability to function in one of several ways. Essentially, if your disability makes daily tasks difficult, it is protected under the law. This includes mental disabilities such as psychiatric disorders that can make it difficult to concentrate or learn. An employer cannot discriminate against these disabilities, even when making hiring decisions. If you are qualified for the job and are able to perform it with or without reasonable accommodations, the employer has to consider you for the job fairly.
What Discrimination Looks Like
Most disability discrimination is not blatant. Employers know that discriminating against employees with a disability is prohibited by law. For this reason, most disability discrimination is very subtle. It is important to know what signs to look for. A few include:
- Sudden changes in job performance reviews
- Exclusion from meetings and events
- Changes in duties or workload
- Reduction in hours or pay
- Different rule enforcement
- Jokes about the disability or not preventing jokes about the disability from other employees
If you notice any of these signs of disability discrimination, you should contact an attorney for assistance. They will be able to help you report the discrimination to the appropriate authorities and seek compensation for your displacement.
It is a requirement of California law that your employer must provide reasonable accommodations for you to perform your job. A reasonable accommodation is any accommodation that does not cause undue hardship for the employer. Examples of reasonable accommodations include:
- More frequent breaks
- Modifying work schedules
- Part time scheduling
- Adjustments to training
- Modifying equipment, such as lowering equipment for use in a chair
There may be other reasonable accommodations that you need to be able to perform the job that you have been assigned. As long as the accommodation does not cost an exorbitant amount or severely limit the type of operations involved, the employer must fulfill your requests for accommodations.