The nature of an employee’s disability determines their workplace rights. In order for an employment attorney to determine if an employees has a case the employee attorney must know the nature of the employee’s medical problem. The diagnosis, the duration of the condition, and the nature of the accommodation are essential questions in determining an employee’s workplace rights. It is also important to know the size of the employer, the length the employee has been employed, the essential functions of the employee’s job, and how the disability arose.
An Employer's Duty to Accomodate a Work Disability Depends on:
THE MEDICAL PROBLEM AT ISSUE
SIZE OF EMPLOYER
DURATION OF THE MEDICAL PROBLEM
LENGTH OF TIME EMPLOYED
NATURE OF THE JOB
HOW THE MEDICAL PROBLEM STARTED
In California multiple leave of absence rights, reinstatement rights, and accommodation rights exist depending on the nature of the disability.
California employees may be entitled to leaves of absence and job accommodations for:
Pregnancy and Adoption
Leaves of Absence to Treat Cancer
Leaves of Absence Due to Longstanding Medical Issues
Not every medical diagnosis constitutes a disability. Other than obvious physical disabilities such as blindness, or an inability to work, the following have been held to constitute disabilities for which employers must provide reasonable accommodations and should not fire employees:
Cancer, Diabetes, Heart Problems, Lupus, Mental Illness, Multiple Sclerosis
There are lists of conditions courts have either found do not constitute disabilities, or they are disabilities an employer may not be able to accommodate. The value of disability discrimination lawyers like those at the Employment Lawyers Group is they are aware of these court rulings and can advise disabled employees accordingly.
Disability discrimination in employment is a complicated subject matter. We advise against employees trying to figure out if they have a case by reading an internet article.
CALL 1-661-412-9600 for a Work Disability Lawyer.
Our disability discrimination lawyers primarily deal with an employee who has lost their job due to their disability, but they can work. In order for employers to be liable for disability harassment supervisors must be the ones engaging in harassment due to disability. Employers are liable for coworker harassment if it is done in front of supervisors or managers, or supervisors or managers are aware of the coworker’s tendency to harass before the employee who is suing was harassed. Besides harassment geared at name calling, or making an employee physically exert themselves beyond the capacities of their disability, workers compensation issues may arise if an employee has a disability due to a work injury.
Outside of the workers compensation arena lawsuits for disability discrimination require the employee suing is able to work with reasonable accommodations. If an employee is completely unable to work a reasonable accommodation might be a leave of absence until the employee has healed. Only an experienced employee attorney can assist the employee in determining if the length of their leave of absence is something a court would rule must be accommodated.
Accommodations employers do not generally have to make include:
A disability discrimination lawyer needs to know:
Unfortunately, too often employees are reluctant to share the true nature of their disability with the employer. If the employer is not aware of a condition that might be a disability, under the law, the employer is not required to accommodate the disability.
Every day many disabled California employees report to work. Not all disabilities effect an employee’s ability to work. For example, being color blind might not affect the work of a physical education teacher, or janitor. Only if the disability effects an employee’s ability to work is it a disability that must be accommodated.
Truthfully, many disabled employees experience employers not always tolerant and willing to accommodate their disabilities. From the civil lawyer’s perspective who only takes cases on a contingency and is only paid when and if they collect money from the employer, an employee attorney cannot always help.
Clear dialogues between the employee and the employer are most helpful. The employer should know the extent, nature, and duration of the disability. The employee should identify any limitations they have, or requests they want honored due to their disability. The employer should think about whether a condition might constitute a disability and what they can do to accommodate it. Employers who refuse to hear medical diagnosis or look at doctor’s notes are not acting lawfully. Employees too embarrassed to clearly apprise their employer of their conditions and needs do themselves a disservice insofar as employee rights laws.
An employer’s obligation to accommodate a disability is different than their obligation to grant California Family Rights Leave Act (CFRA) or Family Medical Leave (FMLA). Our disability lawyers are frequently representing employees in lawsuits in which the employer assumed FMLA was the only relevant leave of absence. Please contact our disability discrimination attorneys if you were fired while on a disability leave.