When people in a workplace feel comfortable mocking those who are different, those taunts can be used as evidence of harassment in a future California employment disability discrimination claim. Although our interests as Los Angeles employment attorneys are focused on the rights and well-being of the wronged workers, a recent public exchange between the owner of a Twitter and a disabled employee is a prime example for companies of what not to do, encourage, or allow.
As noted by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), federal law holds it is illegal to “harass” a job applicant or employee due to current or past disability – actual or perceived. Harassment can mean offensive remarks about a person’s disability, and it’s characterized by conduct that is so frequent or severe it creates a hostile work environment or results in an adverse employment decision (such as firing or demotion). Harassment can come from a co-worker, supervisor, or even client/customer (when the employer doesn’t intervene).
Disability discrimination harassment can be difficult to prove because it’s often he-said-she-said. There’s no paper trail. But not so for the recent exchange between Twitter owner Elon Musk and a former employee, a 45-year-old Icelandic graphic designer with muscular dystrophy. Continue Reading ›