Disability Discrimination

Los Angeles Disability Discrimination Lawyer

Lawsuits Under the ADA and FEHA

American workers with disabilities are protected from discrimination by both federal and state laws, most notably the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). Together, these laws prohibit employers from discriminating against “qualified” individuals in any aspect of hiring, employment, or firing. By law, a “qualified” individual is one who can perform the essential duties and activities of a job, either with or without reasonable accommodations. Additionally, employers are required to provide “reasonable accommodations” for job applicants and employees who need them to complete essential functions of their employment.

If you believe an employer has treated you unfairly due to your disability, you could have grounds for legal action—and KJT Law Group can help. Based in Los Angeles, our disability discrimination attorneys represent workers throughout the Greater LA Area who have had their rights violated by employers or prospective employers. Our team is wholly committed to seeking justice on behalf of the wronged; we never represent businesses, corporations, or other employers in these cases. Instead, we are ready to devote all of our time, resources, and efforts to helping you seek the fair compensation you deserve.

Get started with a free initial consultation today; call (818) 873-0181 or contact us online.

Who Is Protected by Disability Discrimination Laws?

Under the ADA, employers with 15 or more employees are prohibited from discriminating based on disability, but the California FEHA prohibits disability-based discrimination for all employers with at least five employees. This applies to anyone who has a physical or mental disability, disabling medical condition, or perceived disability.

The following are examples of protected disabilities:

  • Physical Disabilities: Physical disabilities include any impairments or limitations affecting the body or bodily functions. Examples of protected physical disabilities include hearing or vision impairments, amputation/loss of limb, speech impairments, cosmetic disfigurement, chronic diseases, HIV/AIDS, and more.
  • Mental Disabilities: State and federal laws protect certain mental chronic mental disabilities, including clinical depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), schizophrenia, cognitive impairments, learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, dementia, and more.
  • Medical Conditions: Some medical conditions are considered physical and/or mental disabilities and, as such, are protected by law. Examples include pregnancy and childbirth, diabetes, cancer, hepatitis, and other temporary or permanent medical conditions that affect an individual’s ability to perform work-related duties with or without reasonable accommodations.

Employers are not only prohibited from discriminating against those with actual physical or mental disabilities or medical conditions but also those with perceived impairments or limitations. This means that an employer may not choose to pass over a job candidate based purely on a perceived disability, nor may they treat employees unfairly because of a perceived disability, regardless of whether the candidate or employee actually has a disability.

What Impairments Are Not Protected in California?

Generally speaking, mild and temporary disabilities with little or no long-term effects are not protected under state or federal disability discrimination laws.

Examples include:

  • Sprains and strains
  • Non-migraine headaches
  • Minor gastrointestinal disorders

Additionally, certain behavioral problems—such as gambling, unlawful substance abuse, and sexual behavior disorders, as well as kleptomania, pyromania, and alcohol or drug impairment—are not seen as disabilities.

What Are “Reasonable Accommodations?”

California employers are required to provide disabled job candidates and employees with “reasonable accommodations,” but what exactly constitutes a reasonable accommodation? Essentially, a reasonable accommodation is any action or measure that does not unreasonably adversely affect the employer, and which allows the employee to perform the essential duties and/or functions of their employment.

Some examples of reasonable workplace accommodations include:

  • Providing ADA-compliant training materials
  • Creating modified work schedules
  • Supplying interpreters or readers
  • Adjusting work equipment, tools, or supplies
  • Modifying work policies and procedures
  • Reassigning to a remote or part-time position
  • Restructuring a job or job-related tasks
  • Permitting the use of service dogs and other assistive devices

To be considered “reasonable,” an accommodation must not cause “undue hardship” for the employer. Typically, this means it cannot be excessively difficult or expense for the employer.

There are various guidelines used to determine if an accommodation is “reasonable.” If your employer has failed to provide reasonable accommodations or has argued that providing requested accommodations would cause undue hardship, reach out to KJT Law Group. Our Los Angeles disability discrimination attorneys can review the specific details of your situation and advise you on your unique legal options.

Things Employers Can—and Cannot—Ask in Interviews

Disability discrimination laws apply not only to employers and employees but also to hiring managers and job candidates. These laws guide what prospective employers can and cannot ask in interviews; improper interview questions may constitute discrimination, and you may have grounds for a case.

In addition to questions about your race, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, and other protected classes, prospective employers may not ask questions about your:

  • Medical condition
  • Physical or mental disability
  • Impairment(s)
  • Overall health

Additionally, prospective employers cannot require a medical or psychological examination when hiring new employees unless doing so is consistent with necessary functions of the job. For example, if you are applying for a job in an office, the hiring manager typically may not ask you to undergo a medical or psychological evaluation. However, certain jobs—such as firefighters and police officers—are permitted to require candidates to pass various examinations.

Contact us 24/7 to schedule a complimentary consultation: (818) 873-0181. We provide legal services in English, Spanish, and Armenian to better serve you.

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What to Do If You Believe You Have Been Discriminated Against Based on a Disability

If you believe your current, past, or prospective employer treated you unfairly due to a medical condition, physical impairment, or mental disability, you are entitled to take legal action. It is possible to sue an employer for disability discrimination in California, but this is typically not the first step in seeking justice.

First, you can attempt to resolve the issue internally by alerting a supervisor or your company’s HR department to the alleged discrimination. However, if you are unable to reach a resolution within your company, you may file a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEA), or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

In most cases, you must attempt to resolve the issue through all available administrative processes—including mediation—before suing your employer. However, depending on your situation, our Los Angeles disability discrimination attorneys may be able to obtain a right to sue notice right away, allowing you to avoid mediation and other administrative resolution processes.

If necessary, our firm is prepared to aggressively advocate for you in the courtroom. We are passionate about standing up for the rights of California workers and can help you go up against your employer in seeking the justice and fair compensation you deserve.

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Let our experienced attorneys lead the fight. No case is too small and no odds are too daunting for us to roll up our sleeves, go to work, and win for our clients.

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  • Work Directly With Your Attorney

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Providing a Client-Centric Approach

At KJT Law Group, we understand that filing a disability discrimination complaint or lawsuit can be intimidating. But with our team by your side, you can feel confident knowing that our experienced and aggressive attorneys are there to protect you, your rights, and your recovery. We do not shy away from tough cases but, rather, fight tirelessly on behalf of our clients in and out of the courtroom.

Most of all, we truly care about helping you get back on your feet. We never lose sight of the fact that our clients are navigating extremely challenging circumstances. Our goal is to provide the guidance and counsel you need to move forward with confidence.

We limit our caseload to allow us the opportunity to provide every single one of our clients with the personalized attention and support they deserve. Our Los Angeles disability discrimination lawyers prioritize client communication and results; we are here to serve as your trusted counselors and advocates throughout the legal process.

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We provide legal services in English, Spanish, and Armenian. Request a free consultation today by calling us at (818) 873-0181 or by submitting an online contact form.