Articles Posted in disability discrimination

Cancer is a condition protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act, a federal law which offers certain protections against employer discrimination. If you’re fired after being diagnosed with cancer in Los Angeles, our employment lawyers are available to help answer your questions and determine your next step. cancer discrimination Los Angeles

Recently, a case of cancer discrimination was reported on by the Fresno Bee, which describes how a land acquisition and development firm is being sued by a former employee who says he was fired from the firm after a cancer diagnosis. The worker alleges he was discriminated against on the basis of his medical condition when he applied for a post at one of the company’s subsidiaries. Soon thereafter, he was fired from the job he held prior to receiving his diagnosis. Now, he alleges disability discrimination, failure to provide reasonable accommodation, wrongful termination, violation of state labor laws, and violation of his rights under the California Family Rights Act.

Plaintiff reportedly started working for the company in 2017 as a maintenance lead technician. He was diagnosed with cancer in the spring of 2021, at which time he began undergoing chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. His condition required that he be under the constant supervision of his doctors. Accommodations were initially made for him to take a leave of absence to undergo treatment. During that leave, he applied for a managerial position, for which he believed he was qualified and would have required less physically intensive work. Despite landing a phone interview for the role, his employer never actually called on the day of the interview. Plaintiff speculated this was because of his medical condition.

Per FMLA, plaintiff was eligible for medical leave until end of October 2021, but prior to that, his doctor extended his medical leave through the end of the year. The following month, his employer terminated him, effective mid-October. When he sought a meeting with his supervisors, he was told that he had to be fired, but that if circumstances changed, he *might* be able to be rehired.

The employer is seeking to have the matter resolved via arbitration. Continue Reading ›

California workers with physical and mental disabilities can request reasonable accommodations if they are necessary to assist them in their daily duties. Our Los Angeles disability discrimination lawyers know, however, that the question of what, exactly, a reasonable accommodation is can be a bit unclear. Los Angeles employment lawyer

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) stipulates that in order to ask for a reasonable accommodation, one must meet the definition of having a physical or mental impairment that substantially inhibits one or more major life activities. At the state-level, we have the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), the Unruh Civil Rights Act, and the Disabled Persons Act all protect workers from disability-based discrimination.

What are Reasonable Accommodations?

Reasonable accommodations are slight changes that are made – either to the duties of the job or how/when/where/with what it’s performed. Ultimately, the goal is to provide reasonable tools that a qualified, disabled employee needs to complete the essential functions of their job while enjoying equal workplace opportunities. The requested accommodations must be within reason, and not place “undue hardship” on the employer.

Some examples of reasonable accommodations may include: Continue Reading ›

The City of Huntington Beach has paid $2.5 million total to settle claims of disability and age discrimination allegedly perpetrated in part by the city attorney. The payout comes after the city paid $1.5 million fighting the claims. Los Angeles age discrimination lawyer

According to The Orange County Register, two former employees allege the city’s former and current senior deputy city attorneys made numerous efforts to force them and other older workers out of their employment roles.

The case had been pending for two years, and council members, who had to approve the legal fees, insist the case has always been without merit, which is why they pushed the outside lawyers to prepare for trial rather than try to settle. Ultimately, though, they chose to settle with one claimant for $1 million and another for $1.5 million. Continue Reading ›

California taxpayers are on the hook for more than $2 million after supervisors at the state’s Employment Development Department failed to reasonably accommodate a worker with disabilities and then allegedly retaliated against her. Los Angeles employment disability attorney

As our Los Angeles employment disability discrimination lawyers can explain, reasonable accommodations for disabled workers are required under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. Employers with more than five workers must provide these accommodations for people to apply for and perform the essential functions of a job, unless doing so would cause the company undue hardship. A reasonable accommodation could be alternative duties, medical leave, altering work schedules, moving one’s work area or providing electrical or mechanical aids – or a special office chair.

It’s illegal in California for an employer to forego engaging in a good faith, timely and interactive process when it comes to reasonable accommodations. The whole point of the law, of course, is to remove the kinds of barriers that would prevent someone from performing a job they could otherwise do with some accommodations. Continue Reading ›

It may be long after the worst waves of the COVID-19 pandemic that some California workers will be left wondering whether their “long-haul” symptoms entitle them to any employment law protections. Our Los Angeles disability discrimination attorneys believe we’re going to see this as the basis for a growing number of California wrongful termination claims in the coming months. disability discrimination lawyer

Case-in-point: Last month, a Central California hospital lab employee who is a long-haul COVID-19 sufferer sued her former employer for disability discrimination, retaliation violating medical leave laws and wrongful termination. According to the Fresno Bee, the worker first became sick with coronavirus in April of last year. Her doctor placed her on six weeks medical leave. She came back to work in June, but her symptoms persisted. Combined with her pre-existing conditions (diabetes, cardio-pulmonary disease and traumatic brain injury), she was unable to work for intermittent periods. Her doctor recommended periodic medical leave. However, she said when she asked her boss for the paperwork to file the request, she was reportedly told that “she better not.”

Over months, plaintiff was absent several times due to lingering viral effects. She claims though her absence was due to her medical condition, her employer disciplined and ultimately fired her for violation of the health center’s employee attendance policy.

If her allegations prove true (a spokesperson for the employer would not comment on pending litigation), it’s possible she’ll prevail. California statute grants employees up to three months (12 weeks) of leave in one year for serious medical ailments. Furthermore, it’s unlawful for employers to retaliate against workers for asking for or taking that leave.

As longtime L.A. wrongful termination lawyers, we’re concerned about a potential increase in cases like these. We’d caution employers against disciplining or especially firing workers as a first resort for simply exceeding medical leave – whether it’s for long-haul coronavirus symptoms or some other condition. It may be much more productive for all involved to simply have a conversation about how much more time off is needed.

In the Fresno case, the plaintiff is seeking not only her job back, but also lost wages, special damages and punitive damages.

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Both California and federal laws protect employees and prospective employees from discrimination on the basis of disability or perceived disability. This was at issue recently in a case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, where a prospective police officer’s job offer was rescinded after a mental fitness test in which he revealed his diagnosis of ADHD. disability discrimination

As the court noted in its precedential decision in Gibbs v. City of Pittsburg, government agencies have the right to ensure their police officers are mentally fit. However, they are not allowed to use psychological testing as a cover for disability discrimination.

Our Los Angeles disability discrimination lawyers can explain that California has some of the best employment law protections for workers with disabilities, actual or perceived. Employers are required to evaluate job applicants regardless of their actual or perceived disabilities. They can require medical or psychological exams – but only if they routinely apply them for all prospective hires.

Police departments do routinely test officer candidates for both physical and mental fitness. The Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that between 72 percent and 98 percent of police agencies require psychological evaluations of police officer candidates, and many states have statutory and regulatory requirements for psychological testing of public safety job applicants. But it’s imperative that they follow the letter of the law when doing so. Continue Reading ›

Employers would be wise to carefully comb through their online job solicitations to ensure they are accessible to those who are visually impaired or blind. This is true even if you aren’t primarily operating in California. Failure to do so could result in significant financial damages, as well as loss of customers and a stain on their reputation. This was underscored recently in a California disability employment lawsuit, Thurston v. Fairfield Collectibles of Georgia, LLC, filed by a California resident against a Georgia company.disability discrimination employment

According to court records, plaintiff was blind and a resident of California. She sued the business for not providing her with full and equal access to its website, which she claimed was in violation of the state’s disability discrimination law. Specifically, she alleged a violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act.

This does pertain specifically to employment law, but rather to the right to full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges and services in all business establishments of any kind whatsoever. Discrimination on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, genetic discrimination, marital status, sexual orientation, citizenship, primary language or immigration status. The UCRA further indicates that any violation outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is also a violation of the UCRA. Continue Reading ›

Going up against a large employer when you’ve been discriminated against can be daunting, especially when your condition arises from a work-related injury. An experienced Los Angeles employment lawyer can help guide you through the process of seeking justice and fair compensation.disability discrimination

Recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (which has jurisdiction over California) reinstated an FMLA  and disability discrimination lawsuit filed by a Nevada woman against a large box chain retailer employer.

The case of Hazelett v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. began with a work injury. Plaintiff worked as an order-filler at one of the store’s distribution centers near her home when she injured her foot on-the-job. She filed for workers’ compensation and later, a leave of absence. During her work-related disability, the store offered her a temporary alternate duty assignment. The form for that assignment indicated that if she refused that assignment, her disability benefits could be suspended or denied due to noncompliance. However, the reassignment they offered was a far distance from her home and required her to work into the wee hours of the morning. Meanwhile, her work injury was such that she could not drive. No public transportation would be available to take her home after her shift, unless she paid for a taxi, which she couldn’t afford. She called out sick each day she was absent, thinking they were excused, as they were all related to her workers’ compensation injury. Yet on the day she filed for leave under the U.S. Family and Medical Leave Act, she was fired for excessive absences.

(FMLA is a federal law allowing up to 12 weeks of protected, unpaid leave in a 12-month period for the birth of a child/placement of adoption, care of a spouse/child/parent who has a serious health condition or a serious health condition rendering employee unable to perform the essential functions of his/her job.)

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A California employment lawsuit filed against the retailer Target alleges the company discriminated and retaliated against an employee with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) before wrongly firing him. TBI reasonable accommodations

According to the local CBS News affiliate in Los Angeles, plaintiff suffered from a brain injury, which he reportedly disclosed during the interview process. Despite this, his employer failed to provide him with reasonable accommodations. Instead, his supervisor constantly criticized his slow speed in comparison to other workers. He also alleges he was not properly trained with regard to job duties and expectations. He was reportedly harassed by his supervisor, and said the company failed to take action and later retaliated by firing him for being “full of excuses of why you are a slow performer.”

The worker is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages. Continue Reading ›

Three years ago, a young woman using a wheelchair asked Pope Francis why some who are disabled aren’t able to receive Communion or go Mass. The Pope responded that discriminating against those with disabilities is “one of the ugliest things” one can do. Los Angeles disability discrimination lawyer

This month, the U.S  Supreme Court heard oral arguments via telephone regarding an employment disability claim filed by a former teacher at a Catholic school in California who said her employer declined to renew her contract after she informed them she’d need more time off for cancer treatment.

The employee died after a 5-year breast cancer battle. However, the disability discrimination claim against her former Catholic school employer in Torrance is moving forward. The trial court had sided with the school, which claimed it could not be sued for disability discrimination because of the ministerial exception. Continue Reading ›

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