The myth that disabled individuals are unable to work or be productive members of society is continuously debunked by disabled American workers themselves. In fact, in 2018, over 19% of people in the American workforce had a disability, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Today, many people who have disabilities are leading full lives with satisfying careers and we are committed to protecting their legal rights to do so.

People with disabilities are members of a protected class. This means that employers cannot deny employment to potential employees, nor can they fire current employees, based solely on the fact that the employee or potential employee is disabled. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employers must make reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities. Failure to do so can lead to legal consequences under both state and federal laws.

We believe that individuals with disabilities are an integral part of our community and have just as much right to earn a living as everybody else. Our attorneys are dedicated to enforcing the employment rights of disabled workers.

We handle discrimination claims involving all aspects of employment, whether the discrimination claim is focused on an employer’s hiring practices, conditions of employment, or wrongful termination.

At our firm, you can benefit from the 30-plus years of combined experience our employment attorneys bring to the table.

What is considered a disability? 

According to the ADA, a person with a disability is “a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity.” There are a variety of conditions protected under the ADA, such as:

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Blindness
  • Deafness
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Epilepsy
  • HIV
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Mobility impairments requiring the use of a wheelchair
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Partial or completely missing limbs
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Schizophrenia

This list is not exhaustive and there are countless other conditions that may qualify an individual for protection under the ADA.

Your Rights In The Workplace

As a disabled individual, it is important to know that you have rights in the workplace and a physical or mental disability should not cost you your employment. As long as you are still able to perform the essential duties of your job with reasonable accommodations, those accommodations will not cause undue hardship for your employer, and your employer is subject to the provisions of the ADA, your employer must provide you with reasonable accommodations in the workplace.

Unfortunately, employers do not always honor employees’ rights. Whether that disregard of employees’ rights is intentional or not, employers may be held legally responsible. Disability discrimination can take many forms, such as an employer’s failure to accommodate or outright retaliation based on an employee’s disability.

Employers may face legal consequences for:

  • Failure to accommodate an employee in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

Has your employer denied your request for an accommodation without legally sufficient grounds for doing so? Has your employer discounted your disability? These actions may constitute violations of the ADA.

  • Failure to engage in the interactive process of providing disabled employees reasonable accommodations, allowing the employee to adequately perform his or her job responsibilities.

Employers must make a good-faith attempt to determine whether reasonable accommodations are available for an employee with disabilities. They cannot simply refuse to consider your request.

  • Retaliation through adverse employment actions against an employee for reporting discrimination, requesting a reasonable accommodation, filing a workers’ compensation claim, or pursuing disability benefits.

Not all reasons for termination are wrongful, no matter how the employee may feel about it, but there are, of course, some instances in which an employee is fired due to retaliation. The laws protecting against retaliatory employment actions are substantial and the typical employee should not be expected to fully understand the nuances of the law governing wrongful termination. An employment law attorney can help to inform you of your rights and legal options, as well as the best course of action in your case.

If you are facing or have faced disability discrimination in the workplace, do not suffer alone or in silence. Our team of knowledgeable and experienced employment attorneys at Perkins Asbill have a combined 30+ years of experience and are passionate about defending the rights of employees who have been discriminated against on the basis of a disability.

With more than 30 years of employment law experience, our lawyers know how to work through the intricacies of the California Labor Code, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and other applicable law. To get started, arrange a confidential consultation by calling (916) 446-2000.