Disability Discrimination Attorney in Temecula, California

In FY 2019, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency that handles discrimination investigations, received about 25,000 disability discrimination complaints. This figure represents those individuals who filed a complaint but there were likely many more who never took action out of fear of employer retaliation.

If you feel you’ve been discriminated against at work because of a real or perceived disability but fear workplace retaliation, you aren’t alone. Robinson Bradford LLP offers comprehensive legal services in cases of violations of employment laws or illegal employer practices. We can listen to your case, answer your questions, investigate, and help you seek justice and fair financial compensation. 

We proudly represent clients in Stockton, Temecula, Costa Mesa, and Irvine, California as well as surrounding areas.

Laws Addressing Disability Discrimination

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects workers in the private sector against disability discrimination while the Rehabilitation Act pertains to government workers. The ADA covers workers at workplaces with 15 or more employees. Below that number of total employees and the business will be exempt from the ADA at the federal level. However, California state laws prohibiting discrimination apply to employers with five or more employees.

Disability discrimination occurs when an employee or job applicant protected by the ADA is treated unfavorably because of a disability, or less favorably because of a previous disability, such as a past depressive episode.

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Disability and Disability Discrimination Defined

The most general definition of a disability is a physical or mental condition that limits a “major life activity,” such as walking, talking, seeing, hearing, or learning, or the operation of a major bodily function. A person with a history of disability, such as one with cancer in remission, is also considered to have a current disability.

Disability discrimination occurs when an employee or applicant with a disability is affected adversely in any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.

For instance, an equally qualified candidate who has a disability and is routinely passed over for promotion, or even training for advancement, is considered as being discriminated against. In perhaps the most serious example, a person who develops a disability is terminated but given a totally different reason for the action. This then becomes a wrongful termination case based on disability discrimination.

Disability Discrimination in Hiring

When it comes to hiring, employers and hiring agents must adhere to strict standards in the questions they can ask. Even if the candidate is obviously physically disabled, the questions can focus only on how the applicant could and would perform the job. No questions about the disability itself, or requests for a medical exam, may be extended before a job offer is made.

Once the person with a disability is hired, questions and medical exams may be requested, but only with the goal of accommodating the new hire on the job.

Reasonable Accommodation

The overall goal of the ADA is for employers to provide “reasonable accommodations” for applicants and employees with a disability. The Department of Labor (DOL) guidance on reasonable accommodations posits three goals:

  • Ensuring equal opportunity in the application process
  • Enabling a person with a disability to perform the essential functions of a job
  • Enabling a person with a disability to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment

The DOL also calls reasonable accommodations “productivity enhancers.” Such enhancers include making existing facilities accessible (ramps, workspace modifications); job restructuring; part-time or modified work schedules; acquiring or modifying equipment; changing tests, training materials, or policies; and providing qualified readers or interpreters.

The ADA requires such reasonable accommodations unless they present an “undue hardship” to the employer, in which case a more reasonable accommodation should be pursued.

Retaliation Prohibited

Anti-discrimination laws, whether at the federal or state level, strictly prohibit employer retaliation. An employer cannot discriminate against or harass any employee or applicant because they:

  • file or act as a witness in a disability discrimination charge, complaint, investigation, or lawsuit
  • communicate with a supervisor or manager about disability discrimination 
  • answering questions during an employer investigation of alleged disability discrimination 
  • refuse to follow orders that would result in discrimination
  • request accommodation of a disability 

How Experienced Legal Representation Can Help

One of the main impediments to pursuing a just result from an act of disability discrimination is fear of retaliation. “If they can do this, then they can certainly fire me too if I complain” is an all-too-common reaction to discrimination. But you aren’t alone. An experienced employment law attorney can investigate your case and help you fight for fair compensation and recourse. 

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Robinson Bradford LLP have the experience and resources necessary to help you fight for justice.

Disability Discrimination Attorney in Stockton, CA

At Robinson Bradford LLP, we can investigate and guide you through the claims or litigation process. We will listen to your case, communicate your options, and help you fight passionately against discrimination. Call now to schedule a free consultation with knowledgeable employment law attorneys. We represent workers in Stockton, Temecula, Costa Mesa, and Irvine, California.