Skip to main content

Disability Discrimination and Accommodation Laws in California

With the knowledge of the difficulties people living with disabilities face on a daily basis, California has put several measures in place to ensure that workplaces avoid discriminatory practices and provide reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities. As Douglas Han from Justice Law Corporation  explains, these accommodations are part of state laws such as the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), the Unruh Civil Rights Act, and the Disabled Persons Act.

First, these laws mandate that prospective employers cannot refuse to hire or train individuals on the basis of their disabilities. In this situation, qualified disabilities include physical disabilities, medical conditions, and mental conditions. Physical disabilities encompass physical impairments, impairments of major bodily systems, and any physical condition that limits a major life activity. Medical conditions refer to genetic conditions associated with diseases, as well as health impairments related to cancer. Mental conditions cover a variety of mental illnesses and intellectual/cognitive disabilities, including autism, clinical depression, and bipolar disorder.

Secondly, these laws require employers to provide reasonable accommodation for people with disabilities. Douglas Han of the Justice Law Corporation expounds, “Examples of accommodation might be modified equipment, a work-from-home option, interpreters, job restructuring, and accessibility, to name a few.” One example of reasonable accommodations would be making a workplace accessible to employees who need to use a wheelchair. If an employer fails to provide these reasonable accommodations, it is considered an act of discrimination under California law. “An employer must engage in an interactive process to determine reasonable accommodation. A failure to do so is an actionable claim on its own,” Douglas Han from Justice Law Corporation comments.

If you are an individual with a disability who has been discriminated against in the workplace, you may be able to hold your employer liable in a court of law. Be aware that you can only file a complaint for discrimination if you have already requested a reasonable accommodation from your employer. If your request has not been followed by a satisfactory resolution, you can file a complaint with either the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) or the CRD (California Civil Rights Department). You can also request information and assistance from a reputable legal firm before you move forward with your complaint. Be sure to do your research and determine if you have a legitimate claim that can become a lawsuit. The right lawsuit can lead to significant settlement amounts for victims of discrimination.

Related posts 1, 2, 3.