Targeted For Discrimination Because Of A Physical Or Mental Disability? Seek Legal Counsel.
How does disability discrimination relate to other forms of employment discrimination?
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 established employment discrimination precedents for our time. That law banned discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, sex and religion, but did not include the topic of disability discrimination. However, in 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) added disability discrimination to the list of prohibitions.
California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) expands on Title VII and ADA prohibitions. It protects people with a wider range of physical and mental disabilities from discrimination as well as harassment. FEHA’s prohibitions with regard to discrimination apply to employers with five or more employees, or just one employee in cases of harassment. The ADA applies to employers with fifteen or more.
At Licata & Yeremenko, we evaluate a wide range of employment discrimination cases in Southern California. If you have been discriminated against through hiring, work conditions, firing, pay or benefits, we welcome the opportunity to discuss your concerns. We can help you devise a plan of action to fight back in support of your employment rights.
Definitions Of Physical And Mental Disabilities
According to FEHA, a physical disability may be any physiological disease, disorder, condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss that affects body systems and limits major life activities.
Mental or psychological disorders or conditions that apply may include mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness (including depression, anxiety, PTSD, etc.) or learning disability that limits major life activities or requires special education or related services.
Prohibitions against disability discrimination also apply to workers whom others may perceive to have disabilities even if they do not. To name a few examples, this may mean that you must not be targeted with discrimination because you walk with a limp, use a walker or wheelchair, wear visible hearing aids or demonstrate stereotypical characteristics of autism.
When A Cause For Discrimination Doesn’t Fall Neatly Into A Category Of Disability
If you have been discriminated against on the basis of appearance, that is not usually covered under the ADA or FEHA. But if your appearance is due to an underlying medical condition or disability or if one of the other protected categories (such as sex or religion) is a factor in the discrimination, you may have an employment discrimination claim.
If you are a worker with a condition such as chemical sensitivity, discrimination bans may or may not apply, depending on the nature of the sensitivity, your overall health, and other factors. Ask an attorney to determine whether the ADA and/or FEHA applies to your employment prospects or status in light of your physical or mental disability.
We Are Here For You
If you choose to have us on your side after you have experienced disability discrimination in the workplace, we are ready to fight for you. We will thoroughly investigate your case and help you discover your legal options.