Articles Tagged with California disability discrimination

California employees are entitled to broad anti-discrimination protection under state law. Employers are not allowed to discriminate against employees on the basis of gender, disability, religion, sexual orientation, pregnancy, age, ethnicity or nationality. However, it often surprises people to know there are some instances in which certain California employers can legally discriminate against some employees for certain reasons. As a Los Angeles disability discrimination attorney can explain, one type of employer most commonly cited are religious organizations; more specifically, religious schools. There are more than 40 Catholic schools from pre-K through high school just in Los Angeles alone, plus 11 Catholic colleges in the state of California.  Private schools that accept federal funds (as many do) are required to abide by federal anti-discrimination laws (which, it should be noted, aren’t as stringent as state laws). What’s more, religious schools may be entitled to some exceptions. employment discrimination

Teacher Wins Bid to Sue School For Disability Discrimination in Los Angeles

Recently in Los Angeles, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled a fifth-grade teacher alleging she was fired for taking time off for breast cancer treatment may proceed with her wrongful termination lawsuit, reversing the trial court’s summary judgment last year favoring the school. Plaintiff was hired in 2013 as a full-time teacher. Prior to the school year, plaintiff signed an employment agreement. Although it didn’t require that she be Catholic, it did mandate that teachers model, teach and promote conformity in behavior to the teachings of the church, including leading the students in prayer each day and attend Mass with students once monthly (primarily acting as a babysitter). She had received one positive review, a few weeks after which she learned she’d been diagnosed with breast cancer. This information was shared the following week with the school, indicating she’d need time off starting in late May for cancer treatments. Just a week before she was scheduled to be on leave for treatments was the school’s deadline for informing teachers if their contract was being renewed for the next school year. Plaintiff’s contract was not. Reasons given: She wasn’t strict enough with students and further that it “wouldn’t be fair to the students to have two teachers during the next school year” (as she’d be off the first part of the year continuing cancer treatments). The supervisor later conceded it would not have been a burden to the school because it was done routinely for female teachers on maternity leave.

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

A man with autism has filed a disability discrimination lawsuit against a fast-food restaurant chain and its parent company, alleging he was denied a job due to his disability.foodservice

The lawsuit, filed in Illinois where the incident occurred, alleges the 25-year-old had recently completed a work-study program at a different restaurant in late 2013. The manager who oversaw his duties reported he worked capably and diligently, but the employment ended when the work-study program had finished. At that point, plaintiff hired a job coach to help him find a full-time job. The following summer, both he and his job coach went to a Chick-Fil-A restaurant and requested an application for employment. At the time, the manager was not available.

Later, the job coach went back to the restaurant and talked to the manager. It was at that time she allegedly informed the job coach that the restaurant was, “Not interested in hiring people with disabilities,” adding that those with challenges such as what plaintiff faced “do not succeed” in their company atmosphere. Continue reading

The San Francisco Examiner recently invited readers to submit questions about concerns they may have involving their employment situations. One of the questions being asked more often and was submitted to the news outlet was what happens if a worker takes medical marijuana for anxiety and is also looking for a job. The person who submitted the question stated she does not drive a bus and does not engage in any hazardous activities or operate heavy machinery. The worker is also concerned because the employer has stated it does random drug tests. Continue reading

It’s been nearly a quarter century since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. One would think the learning curve would be over. wheelchair3

And yet, our Orange County workplace disability lawyers hear daily about cases in which workers with disabilities have been treated unfairly. Just in the last month, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has posted news of dozens of cases of discrimination based on disability across the country.

We’ve taken a sample of these to highlight, just to offer up some examples to help you recognize discrimination disability when you encounter it.