California Disability Discrimination Lawyers

The experienced disability discrimination lawyers at the Genie Harrison Law Firm are dedicated to protecting victims of disability discrimination and helping them get the justice they deserve. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

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disability discrimination lawyer

Our Disability Discrimination Lawyers Proudly Serve California Employees

If you’re disabled, illness or injury can disrupt every aspect of your life. Unfortunately, discrimination at work or job loss due to disability can further damage your self-worth. The employment lawyers at Genie Harrison Law Firm in Los Angeles are committed to protecting you and your rights. We believe that disability shouldn’t limit your ability to contribute to society. Contact our experienced disability discrimination lawyers today to learn how we can help.

What constitutes disability discrimination?

In California, there are typically three types of employment disability discrimination cases: (1) when an employer takes action against an employee due to their illness or disability; (2) when an employer fails to make reasonable accommodations for an employee’s illness or disability; and (3) when an employer does not engage in a good faith interactive process with an employee to determine if reasonable accommodations are possible.

Am I disabled under the law?

California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) protects employees suffering from certain physical and mental disabilities, and medical conditions.

To be considered as having a protected physical disability, an employee must have a physiological disease, disorder, condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss that affects one or more body systems and limits a significant life activity, such as working.

For a protected mental disability, an employee must have a mental or psychological disorder or condition that limits a significant life activity or requires special education or related services.

An employee with a significant health impairment (for example, cancer or HIV/AIDS) or a condition resulting from a genetic characteristic is considered to have a protected medical condition.

Moreover, employees may be considered to have a disability or medical condition if they have a history of such an impairment that is known to the employer, are incorrectly regarded or treated as having or having had such an impairment, or are regarded or treated as having or having had such an impairment that has no current disability effects but may qualify as a disability in the future.

Am I an otherwise qualified individual?

To be protected under California disability law, employees must be able to perform the essential job functions, with or without reasonable accommodation. This means the employee can perform the primary duties of the position they seek to obtain or retain.

Many factors are considered when determining the essential functions of a job, such as: (1) whether or not the position exists to perform the function; (2) the number of employees available to perform the function; and (3) whether the function is highly specialized.

How do I know if my employer took action against me because of my illness or disability?

Employers rarely admit to refusing to hire or taking action against a qualified individual with a disability. Instead, they may complain about an employee’s need for medical leave or that other employees must cover their work during doctor’s appointments. Employers may also comment that it was easier to work with the employee before they became disabled or affected by a medical condition.

Is the accommodation I need reasonable?

Employers in California have to provide reasonable accommodations to qualifying disabled employees unless the accommodation would be an undue hardship to the employer’s operations. Reasonable accommodations are measures put in place so that a disabled employee can perform the essential functions of their job. Some reasonable accommodations include providing a finite medical leave, providing a modified work schedule, making facilities accessible, or reassigning an employee to a vacation position they are qualified to perform, amongst others.

What is a good faith interactive process?

Under California law, employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to eligible disabled employees unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the employer’s operations. Reasonable accommodations are measures that enable disabled employees to perform the essential functions of their job. Examples of reasonable accommodations include providing a limited medical leave, offering a modified work schedule, ensuring that facilities are accessible, or reassigning the employee to a position for which they are qualified, among others.

Can my employer take action against me for requesting an accommodation?

No, it is illegal for your employer to retaliate against you for requesting an accommodation for your disability or medical condition, regardless of whether the accommodation was ultimately granted.

What should I do if I think I am being discriminated against because of my disability and/or medical condition?

If you suspect you are being discriminated against due to your disability or medical condition, the first step is to report the misconduct to your employer. It’s crucial that your employer knows about your qualifying disability and/or medical condition in order for you to have a valid disability discrimination claim. Reporting the misconduct puts your employer on notice of their unlawful actions and may help stop the discrimination from continuing. In some cases, employers may recognize when they have failed to comply with the law and take corrective action.

However, if your employer fails to address your concerns, you may want to consider pursuing legal action. To file a disability discrimination claim in California, you must submit a complaint to the Department of Fair Employment and Housing ( within one year of the wrongful conduct. Once you file with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing and receive a “right-to-sue notice,” you have one year to file a claim in civil court.

What do I need to provide to the Genie Harrison Law Firm so they can review whether my employer has discriminated against me based on my disability and/or medical condition?

Disability discrimination, failure to accommodate, and failure to engage in the interactive process claims are factually complex and dependent on the information provided. The employment lawyers at the Genie Harrison Law Firm will need to collect a lot of information and documents from you to assess your disability discrimination case. Please be prepared to provide our lawyers with the following:

  • A chronology of events, including all communications with your employer regarding your illness or condition(s), your days off, your leave(s), your requests for accommodation, your requests for FMLA or CFRA leave, and your doctor’s notes;
  • All of the emails, letters, and doctor’s notes regarding your condition(s), requests for time off, and your employer’s responses;
  • Your job description;
  • An organizational chart of the company or employer;
  • Your applications for FMLA or CFRA leave, for short-term or long-term disability insurance benefits, for state disability and/or for unemployment; and
  • Your medical records.

It is important to provide as much information as possible for the lawyers to advise whether you have a case they can take.

Contact Us for a Free Case Evaluation

If you suspect that your employer is discriminating against you because of your disability or illness, you may have a valid claim. Disability discrimination cases are complicated and require careful examination. Contact the Genie Harrison Law Firm for a free case evaluation with a disability discrimination lawyer. We can help you determine if you have a viable claim and guide you through the legal process.

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