Are You Experiencing Discrimination in the Workplace? Contact Us Today!
Everyone should be treated with fairness and respect in the workplace. This includes those with disabilities. Having a disability should not make you a target for abuse and mistreatment. You are protected by the laws of California and the United States of America from disability discrimination. California has some of the most progressive laws in the country on this front. California residents who are disabled have many means of holding to account organizations that fail to hire, promote, and properly pay them.
If you have been unfairly treated because of your disability, you can get restitution. To do so, you should hire an employment attorney Los Angeles. A Los Angeles disability discrimination attorney will allow you to pursue the matter all the way through the legal system. Though the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits such discrimination in the workplace, you cannot go straight to court. You must first file a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).
What Constitutes Disability Discrimination?
All organizations that employ 15 or more employees must adhere to the ADA. Your employer cannot unfairly treat an employee who has a current disability or a history of disability. Nor may an employer incorrectly impute a disability and discriminate against you on the basis of this belief. If you have been refused a job, a promotion, or an opportunity for advancement owing to your disability, your employer has violated the ADA. They have also violated the law if they have fired you for your disability.
What is considered a disability under the ADA? The law considers it to be a physical or mental impairment that significantly limits life activities. Diseases such as cancer and HIV fall under this category.
Your employer must provide reasonable accommodations for people who qualify under the law. If you have the education, training, and license for the job and can perform the job’s essential functions, then you should not be refused the job because of your disability. And your employer must give you the assistance you need and make the changes necessary in the workplace for you to succeed. No employer is asked to make overly burdensome changes. They are instead asked to make basic changes such as lowering the height of a desktop or giving disabled employees the needed flexibility in their work day schedules to take their medication or recover from the side effects of it.
The Difficulty of Dealing with Disability Discrimination
One of the biggest challenges of having a disability is trying to lead a life without it being the constant focus of your attention. If you know you have been discriminated against because of your disability, you may be reluctant to file a formal complaint. Of course, you should always deal with the issue at the lowest possible level—if you feel comfortable doing so. Going to a supervisor to report an incident or questioning their decision not to give you an opportunity that you believe you have earned may resolve the matter without a need for further action.
But if you have done all these things and you have not received a satisfactory response, then you may need to hire a Los Angeles labor lawyer and move forward legally.
First Steps Toward Justice
Hiring a disability discrimination attorney is a good first move because it give you a chance to figure out whether you have a case. The attorney you hire will sit down with you and ask you to recall the events and circumstances surrounding your mistreatment.
At the first inkling of discrimination, you should save all emails, text messages, voicemails, social media posts, and other correspondence with your employer. In fact, you should forward all such documents to your private account. This is a precaution in case you are fired without warning and locked out of your company account.
The attorney for disability discrimination will want to see these documents. If your employment attorney in LA decides that you have a good case against your employer, they will suggest negotiating with them.
At this point, you should allow your lawyer to take the lead and to conduct all communications with your employer. Being discriminated against is a humiliating experience, and it can produce strong emotions in those who have been victimized. You should not enter into any dialogue with your employer without an attorney present. And in any meeting with your employer, you should allow your workplace discrimination lawyer to do most of the talking.
If negotiations break down, then you will need to file a formal suit against your employer. You must begin the process by filing a charge of discrimination with the EEOC or the California DFEH. You should file the charge within 180 days of the discriminatory act. Your attorney will help you fill out the contents of the charge.
Once you file the charge, the agency must investigate the claim. At the end of that investigation, they may dismiss the claim, try to mediate a settlement with your employer, or litigate on your behalf. The most common result of an EEOC investigation that finds in favor of the claimant is to issue a right to sue letter which gives you the right to file a lawsuit. This letter must be issued within 180 days of your filing.
When you get the right to sue letter, you will have 3 months to file a lawsuit.
Your lawyer will waste little time in making this happen. They will bring in a private investigations team to probe further into your employer’s operations and practices and the way they have treated other disabled employees. Your attorney will depose managers within the company and subpoena documents related to the case.
The case need not go to court. If your attorney can build up enough evidence against your employer, they may prefer to settle. Your lawyer will ensure that you get the compensation and restitution that you deserve.