Articles Tagged with disability discrimination lawyer

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in a case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, where a prospective police officer’s job offer was rescinded after a mental fitness test in which he revealed his diagnosis of ADHD.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 ›

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 for-profit nursing home chain operating dozens of facilities in several states (including California) has agreed to pay $2 million and implement other corrective measures after being sued for disability discrimination.Los Angeles disability discrimination

Local media report that at the heart of the case were strict hiring and leave policies that unfairly affected those suffering a disability. Like far too many employers, the company seemed to be under the impression that applicants and workers had to be 100 percent capable of performing every job function as-is (without accommodation or restriction), and that employees need not be extended further consideration if they had run out of FMLA and sick leave time. This is not true.

As our Los Angeles disability discrimination lawyers can explain, such policies violate federal law – specifically the Americans with Disabilities Act. Continue Reading ›

When it comes to disability discrimination in the workplace, many presume it is for the obvious or perceived disabilities – a genetic condition like Down syndrome or a traumatic injury that leaves one scarred or with lower physical capacity. Los Angeles disability discrimination lawyers, however, know that invisible disabilities can affect individuals too.disability discrimination attorney

Workplace discrimination for these conditions usually comes in the form of assumptions of one’s ability based on stigma or the failure to understand why certain conditions require the treatment they do.

Some of the workplace disability cases our employment attorneys have taken on include:

  • Mild traumatic brain injuries
  • Attention hyperactivity disorder
  • Dyslexia
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Lupus
  • High-functioning autism
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Heart problems

Workers with disabilities are protected against workplace discrimination by two primary federal laws: The Americans With Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. In order to be covered by these protections, workers are required to disclose their disabilities, which we realize can be a tough decision. The truth of the matter is, discrimination often follows disclosure.

Invisible disability can impact both a person’s employment and financial future. 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 ›

The Americans With Disabilities Act requires that workers or applicants not be discriminated against on the basis of a disability, so long as the worker is able to perform the essential functions of the job with reasonable modifications. This is not a blanket requirement that companies accept all workers with disabilities. The caveat that workers must be able to perform essential functions is crucial.headset

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit pointed out in a recent opinion, “The reality is there are some jobs that a person with disabilities are simply unable to perform.” That was deemed to be the case for plaintiff in this instance.

According to court records, plaintiff worked for a telecommunications firm in Tennessee at a call center, where her job as a customer service representative involved answering incoming calls and helping customers with billing and technical support problems. In order to answer those calls, plaintiff had to be physically present at her workstation and logged into the computer. She worked eight-hour shifts, and rotated every six months. During these shifts, customer service representatives had to remain at their work stations, except to use the restroom, to take a half-hour lunch and two pre-scheduled 15-minute breaks. There was no requirement for a per-day minimum, but most representatives generally took on 40 to 50 calls per shift.  Continue Reading ›

Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act requires employers to give qualified persons with disabilities reasonable accommodation for work – unless doing so would create some type of undue hardship. Generally speaking, a reasonable accommodation is an alteration of the work environment or in the way things are usually done that enables someone with a disability to have employment opportunities that are equal. doctor

This could mean:

  • An adjustment or modification to the job application process;
  • An adjustment or modification to the manner in which the job is typically performed or the work environment that gives the applicant/ worker a chance to perform the essential functions of the job;
  • Adjustments or changes that allow the worker with a disability the chance to enjoy equal privileges and benefits of employment, the same as other similarly-situated workers who don’t have a disability.

In order to trigger these rights, workers need to be able to perform the essential functions of the job and they need to request reasonable accommodation. In the recent case of Kowitz v. Trinity Health, the question was whether plaintiff made a request for accommodation that was adequate enough to trigger the interactive process of identifying a reasonable accommodation.  Continue Reading ›

Disability discrimination against a Wal-Mart employee could have been avoided had management simply agreed to continue to accommodate the worker with a written list of daily tasks. Instead, court records show, managers chose to fire the intellectually disabled worker – even though he’d been employed by the company for 18 years.list

Now, the store has agreed to settle the case by paying $90,000 to its former employee. The settlement was reached with the assistance of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which helped the worker filed the case.

According to the lawsuit, EEOC v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., it was alleged the worker had previously been able to meet the expectations of the company with the help of the store’s long-standing practice of writing out his daily assignments for him. It had been key to allowing him to successfully perform his duties.  Continue Reading ›

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