Articles Tagged with disability discrimination

People diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can make excellent employees. However, many are denied opportunities – for a job, for advancement, for benefits and more. Disability discrimination is all too often a daily occurrence for those with ASD, especially because the spectrum is so broad and the condition still not well understood.disability discrimination lawyer

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports an estimated 1 in 59 children in the U.S. are diagnosed with autism annually, a figure that has steadily increased in recent years.

As our Los Angeles workplace disability discrimination attorneys can explain, the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, ban disability-based discrimination in employment.

Discrimination is understood to mean that a qualified job applicant or employee is treated unfavorably by a job applicant because of his or her disability. 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

A health care worker was recently awarded more than $1 million for California disability employment discrimination after she alleged a work injury led to her firing after her employer refused her reasonable accommodation.Riverside employment disability discrimination attorney

Our Riverside disability employment discrimination attorneys have dealt with many cases of disability discrimination stemming from an employer’s failure to provide reasonable accommodation, as outlined by the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. What this law means is if you have a physical or mental disability – work related or otherwise – your employer (or any employer with more than four employees) must provide reasonable accommodations for you to apply for or perform the essential function of your job, “unless it would cause an undue hardship.”

What is an “Undue Hardship” in California Employment Litigation?

As outlined in the the 2105 decision by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California in US EEOC v. Placer ARC, in order for an accommodation to be an “undue hardship,” an accommodation needs to be proven by the defense to be unduly disruptive, substantial and extensive. It need not necessarily break the company financially, but it would a defendant employer would need to show it was enough to impact the basic operational flexibility. Continue reading

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.

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 woman once employed by Tiffany & Co. alleges the jewelry maker forced her out of work after she underwent surgery to remove her ovaries and breasts to avoid cancer.womenworking

Plaintiff filed a federal lawsuit asserting the company, based in New York, discriminated against her based on her age and gender after she had the surgeries, which her attorney described as “life-saving.” Prior to the surgery, plaintiff learned she carried a genetic mutation that put her at high risk of developing these specific type of cancers, according to BusinessofFashion.com. You may recall two years ago, Actress Angelina Jolie revealed she had surgery to remove both breasts and her ovaries after discovering she had this same BRCA1 gene. Jolie’s mother, actress Marcheline Bertrand, died of ovarian cancer at age 56, while her grandmother died of it at age 45 and her mother’s sister died of the disease at the age of 61. Presence of the gene typically puts women at a 50 percent higher risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer.

Meanwhile, plaintiff in this employment lawsuit, filed in a U.S. District Court in Rhode Island, says that while she is seeking damages, she said she wants people to know the company treated her as if she’d done something wrong after she took decisive measures to save her own life. 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

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 nation’s largest chain retailer is facing a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of a former employee with Down syndrome, who had worked for the company for 15 years prior. shoppingcart

Of course, disability discrimination isn’t limited to those who have this diagnosis, but it is one of the more visible conditions. Most people can tell right away when someone has the condition, and it’s often used as a basis to deny employment or refuse advancement opportunities – even in cases where the individual is qualified for the essential functions of the job. In fact, employment discrimination of people with Down syndrome was common until fairly recently. Much of these discriminatory actions are based on misinformation and prejudice.

Down syndrome is a genetic chromosome 21 disorder that causes a wide range of developmental delays and disabilities. Those who have Down syndrome share a distinct facial appearance, and generally all have some level of intellectual disability and developmental delays. They may also suffer from thyroid or heart disease. But again, it is a range. Although some with Down syndrome suffer profound disabilities, others are more than capable to work and live independently. Companies that discriminate against these workers solely on the basis of their condition can face legal consequences, including a court order to pay both compensatory and punitive damages.  Continue reading