Written by attorney Rodney Mesriani

California Disability Discrimination Laws Protecting State Workers

Disability discrimination is among the most common forms of workplace discrimination in the State of California. Based on the Charge Receipts for California of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), in fiscal year 2011, a total of 2,110 disability discrimination charges were filed from the state. This only means that thousands of Californians with disabilities have experienced or are experiencing discrimination in the state’s labor sector. Disability discrimination in California As it is, people with disabilities are experiencing a difficult phase in their lives, and subjecting them to unwarranted discrimination and harassment is something that is totally uncalled for. Accordingly, California employers should be fully aware of their obligations under anti-discrimination laws to assure disabled workers with non-hostile work environment. Otherwise, they may be subjected to legal dispute and scrutiny. The laws that protect persons with disabilities Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), California employers are strictly prohibited from discriminating against job-qualified employees and applicants on the basis of their medical condition. ADA – This is a federal law that protects the rights and interests of workers and jobseekers with either physical or mental disability. ADA seeks to level the labor sector and to assure equal opportunity to disabled workers. Moreover, ADA requires employers to reasonably accommodate their disabled employees and applicants. Reasonable accommodation may include providing them with disabled-friendly workplace and favorable and reasonable work assignments and schedule, among others. FEHA – This is a California state law that is being implemented in California to assure diversity and equality in the workplace as far as persons with disabilities are concerned. Under the provisions of FEHA, employers with five or more employees in a year are prohibited from discriminating against job-qualified employees and applicants based on their disability. Same as ADA, FEHA requires covered employers to provide reasonable accommodation to their disabled employees and applicants. What could discrimination victims do? Disability discrimination victims in Los Angeles have the right to file a claim against their employers. Since they are protected by both ADA and FEHA, they can demand for damages for the pain and suffering and lost wages from their employers. Incidentally, they can file their complaint with the EEOC or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). Moreover, they are advised to hire an expert Los Angeles discrimination attorney who has a good standing in defending the rights of disability discrimination claimants. Hiring a lawyer could easily result in a successful claim since her or she could greatly help you throughout the claim’s process, including mediation or court hearing.

Additional resources provided by the author

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Americans with Disabilities Act California Fair Employment and Housing Act

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