Articles Posted in disability discrimination

U.S. and California law provide very specific discrimination protections for employees who have historically been the greatest targets. Typically, these are women, racial minorities, older workers and those with disabilities. We’ve come a long way in the last 50- to- 60-years in ensuring California workers aren’t fired, demoted, transferred or miss out on key benefits because of prejudice by their employers. However, a key component of those protections is the worker’s classification. Those who are classified as “employees” are entitled to a host of employment law protections – everything from minimum wages and regular mandated breaks to reasonable accommodations if one one’s pregnancy requires restrictions. Los Angeles employment attorneys often have to explain another important protection denied independent contractors: Anti-discrimination laws. workplace discrimination Los Angeles

Approximately 1 in 7 jobs in America is classified as independent contractor or some other contingent-employment arrangement. This amounts to millions of Americans – roughly 14 percent in all, according the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics – whose work as freelancers, consultants, temporary agency laborers and contractors who are denied protections against discrimination for their age, race, gender, religion and disability. So for instance, while most employees can expect to be protected from age discrimination from their employer when they reach the age of 40, a freelancer has no such guarantee.

There are some analyses that suggest the unprotected workforce could be even larger. For instance, the California-based Staffing Industry Analysts recently released information indicating roughly 30 percent of American workers could be counted in the “contingent workforce.” The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission makes it clear that anti-discrimination statutes exempt independent contractors as well as those working for employment agencies. Sometimes, anti-discrimination protections depend on the number of employees a company has.  Continue reading

Those who suffer from mental illness, especially a severe one, may be no stranger to difficulties with employment. You should know, however, there are certain legal protections that prevent your employer from taking adverse action against you solely because of your condition. bipolar worker termination lawyer

One bail bond services company in Southern California discovered this recently, having settled a disability discrimination lawsuit for $110,000. The settlement was reached more than a year after the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed its complaint, asserting the company discriminated against the worker when it fired her without attempting to provide reasonable accommodation – as required by the law – when she requested a leave of absence to obtain medical attention for her untreated bipolar disorder. This, the EEOC alleged, was a violation of federal law – specifically the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Continue reading

California disability discrimination in employment happens when an employer takes unfavorable action (or no action at all) an employee or applicant because of his or her disability, despite the fact they are qualified for the job.  As noted by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, companies also aren’t allowed to treat a worker – prospective or otherwise – any differently just because they have a history of a disability or the employer’s belief or perception of a disability. The same is true if the employee or applicant has some type of relationship with someone who has a disability. disability discrimination attorney

Not only this, but as our Los Angeles disability discrimination attorneys can explain, employers are obligated to extend reasonable accommodations in the event the worker or employee has a disability, the only exception being that to do so would be a source of undue hardship (i.e., significant expense or difficulty for the employer).

Failure to do follow the law can result in a disability discrimination lawsuit, with compensatory and possibly punitive damages paid to plaintiff, as well as government fines for violation of state law. Continue reading

A worker at a California home furnishing store has filed a Santa Barbara wrongful termination and workers’ compensation retaliation lawsuit, alleging her employer violated her rights as a whistleblower by falsifying her signature on work injury paperwork. wrongful termination lawyer

In her employment lawsuit, plaintiff alleges the retail furniture store based in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara sought to discredit her work injury claim and bolster its grounds to fire her after she was hurt while moving furniture with a co-worker. She reportedly filed a workers’ compensation claim, but the two owners of the business allegedly prepared a declaration with her name without her knowledge.

According to local news sources and court records of the complaint she filed, the declaration reportedly indicated she ad the other worker hadn’t moved any furniture on the day of the injury and conceded she never reported the job-related injury. Plaintiff alleges the store owners forged her signature on the document and that never was she interviewed by the store owners and that statements attributed to her were wrong. The store then denied her workers’ compensation claim – which is when she learned of the forged declaration. Concerned she may have been implicated in an act that was illegal, she felt she had no choice but to resign from her job right away. Continue reading

A class-action lawsuit 10 years in the making has finally come to a close with the recent decision by the Equal Employmentdisability discrimination Opportunity Commission ordering the U.S. Postal Service to pay up to 130,000 former and current employees. At the heart of the lawsuit are allegations that USPS was using an internal program to systematically dismiss injured employees, and did so while claiming to be helping the workers.

According to an article from Government Executive, USPS’s National Reassessment Program treated certain workers unequally, disclosed medical information improperly, and did not provide reasonable accommodations (while also not proving undue burden as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 Section 101.8). The purported intent of the National Reassessment Program, which lasted from 2006 to 2011, was to create a path for employees to get back to work and eliminate busy work that did not support the major functions of the postal service. Continue reading

A jury in Los Angeles awarded a former police officer in South Pasedena $4.8 million following a two-week trial involving allegations of wrongful termination and disability discrimination.disability discrimination

The Los Angeles Times reported the 18-year veteran on the force was fired for alleged dishonesty, but jurors agreed with him that the true reason was his diagnosis of attention-deficit/ hyperactive disorder (ADHD). The former chief of police (who retired prior to plaintiff’s termination) described plaintiff not only as a good man, but as the “best” on the force when it came to community policing.  However, the chief said the city refused to allow plaintiff reasonable accommodations when it came to the challenges he faced when writing reports due to his condition. The former top cop also testified his replacement in that role was supportive of the recommendation made by a captain on the force who had been campaigning to have plaintiff fired.

The California Department of Fair Housing and Employment states in 2CCR Section 11065 that the term “disability” as it relates to employees is intended to be broadly construed, and can mean mental disabilities (including conditions like autism spectrum disorders, bipolar disorders and PTSD), physical disabilities that limit major life activities or impact one or more major body systems. It can also mean conditions like blindness, deafness, partially or wholly missing limbs, mobility impairments, HIV/AIDS, epilepsy, diabetes and other conditions. The list isn’t meant to be exhaustive, but but it does exclude conditions like substance abuse disorders, gambling, sexual behavior disorders or mild conditions like sprains, strains, the flue, etc. One can also be protected from having “perceived disability,” meaning the worker is regarded or treated as having a mental or physical condition or adverse genetic information.

As our disability discrimination attorneys know, state law requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to workers or applicants who have a disability, unless doing so would result in an “undue hardship” – either expense or significant difficulty – for the employer. Continue reading

Nobody enjoys being fired. Although California is not a right-to-work state, employers still have much freedom when it comes to termination of workers. Supporters of right to work laws opine they protect prospective employees who want a job but do not belong to a union.  Although there was certainly a time when it was difficult to get into in a union, that’s generally no longer the case and membership is encouraged.  The truth of the matter is these laws were designed to allow employers the freedom to fire workers for any reason they want and also to avoid having to deal with unions.

OC Employment attorneyThe reason many employers disfavor unions is because workers have strength in numbers. When they join a union, workers are invested with greater power to negotiate collective bargaining agreements that cause employers to give workers more protection than the base requirements afforded by the law.

Workers who seek to unionize may find themselves facing termination. You can discuss your rights with an experienced Los Angeles employment attorney.

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California law protects workers with mental and physical disabilities. The law defines a physical disability as any disease, disorder, condition disfigurement or anatomical loss which limits a major life activity. Workers who suffer from physical disabilities are entitled to reasonable accommodations which will enable them to perform their job duties. When employers refuse to provide reasonable accommodations, employees have legal claims against that employer. Disability discrimination is a very real problem for many California workers.employment law attorneys

But what legal rights does an employee have for mild medical conditions? Mild – but chronic – medical conditions can still interfere with an employee’s ability to perform his or her job duties. When this happens, the employee is still entitled to reasonable accommodations. The failure to do so subjected the California Department of Transportation (“CalTrans”) to a judgement of over $3 million. Continue reading

Age discrimination is prohibited by the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, which shields workers 40-and-older from suffering discrimination in any aspect of employment on the basis of older age. Disability discrimination violates the Americans With Disabilities Act, which protects workers from unfavorable treatment due to either a history of disability (i.e., cancer that is in remission or controlled) or a belief that one has a non-transitory physical or mental impairment (whether or not that belief is founded). employment attorney

Recently, an oil drilling company in Oklahoma was served with a complaint from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleging the company violating both the ADEA and the ADA. The company allegedly refused to hire applicants who were either over 40 or who had a history of filing claims for benefits under workers’ compensation insurance.

The EEOC alleges the company used the information gleaned from applications for employment in order to carry out the discrimination. The employment lawsuit also seeks compensation for a specific applicant who was required to undergo a post-offer medical examination. Based on the findings of that examination, the company withdrew its job offer. Both the act of compelling the exam and withdrawing the job offer on the basis of that exam were unlawful, the EEOC asserts.  Continue reading

California is considered an at-will employment state. This means that, for the most part, an employer can fire an employee for any reason at any time without regard to the employee’s past or present conduct.  This means that an employer can fire an exemplary employee without even giving a reason.  On the flip side of that coin, an employee can quit at any time for any reason and does not even have to a give a reason.

employment discrimination Riverside However, there are certain limitations to this general rule, meaning that some cases of firing an employee will constitute a wrongful termination.  One of the situations in which an employer may not be able to fire an employee without cause, as discussed in a recent news article from Inquirer.Net, is when the employer and the employee have entered into a contractual relationship that requires good cause to terminate an employee. Continue reading