As a disabled individual, you have the legal right to be treated fairly in the workplace and when renting, buying or living in a property. However, sometimes employers and others discriminate against disabled individuals in ways that could jeopardize their health, safety or overall well-being.
To understand your rights, you should know how the law protects you. Here is what you should know about disability discrimination so that you can determine if you have a disability discrimination case in San Diego.
What is Disability Discrimination?
Disability discrimination occurs when a person with a disability is treated less favorably than a person that does not have a disability under the same or similar circumstances. The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits discrimination and harassment of individuals in California with disabilities in any matter related to employment or housing.
The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) strictly prohibits employers from discriminating against job applicants, employees, or those who have a close relationship to an employee in all matters related to employment. These individuals also protected from retaliation when they opt to enforce their rights under the law in San Diego.
Types of Disability Discrimination
Here are the types of disability discrimination that are illegal under the ADA and FEHA:
Workplace Disability Discrimination
The ADA explicitly forbids employers from discriminating when it comes to any aspects, terms or conditions of employment. These factors include hiring, termination, salary/wages, job tasks, promotions, training, benefits, and layoffs. The FEHA also states that it is an unlawful employment practice to ask questions about the applicant’s health or medical history.
The ADA requires that employers make reasonable accommodations for disabled employers. This means that it is unlawful to fail to make changes in the work environment that could help a disabled person apply for a job, perform the duties of a job, or enjoy the privileges and benefits that come along with employment.
Employers are prohibited under the law from failing to provide accommodations for the disabled individual simply because it causes undue hardship to the employer, such as increased costs.
How Do You Know If You Are a Victim of Disability Discrimination?
While disability discrimination may be obvious in some cases, in others it may be more subtle. It is important for you to recognize disability discrimination so that you can successfully exercise your rights against an employer.
Here are the common ways in which disability discrimination occurs:
- An employer refused to hire you because you are disabled.
- You have been verbally abused, publicly shamed, cyber-bullied, or threatened by your employer because you are disabled.
- You have been denied training, a promotion, or terminated because you are disabled.
- You have been demoted or left out of meetings because you are disabled.
- Your employer has refused to provide reasonable accommodations at your place of work to facilitate your performance of the job.
You should also note that the following reasons are not legally accepted explanations for disability discrimination:
- The employer was concerned about future harm to yourself or others.
- The employer believes that hiring individuals that are disabled would lead to higher insurance rates for the company.
What Should You Do If You Believe You Have a Disability Discrimination Case?
Unfortunately, some people fail to follow the law. As a result, they open themselves and their businesses up to potential legal consequences. If you feel that someone has discriminated against you, you should know your rights. You should also make sure that you take action immediately to protect the value of your claim.
Here’s what you should do if you believe that you have a disability discrimination case:
- Report the incident(s) using your company’s established process for anti-harassment and discrimination claims.
- Keep a detailed log of the incident, including the dates and times that the discrimination occurred along with any records regarding your attempts to report the incident(s).
- Seek out legal counsel.
- Your attorney should then file a complaint on your behalf with the the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
If believe you or a loved one has been harmed due to disability discrimination, you should speak with a San Diego lawyer right away. Submit a contact form or call Walker Law at (619) 839-9978 to schedule your free consultation.