San Diego Disability Discrimination Law Attorney
Have You Been Subject to Disability Discrimination?
Have you had any restrictions placed on your ability to work at a specific job by a medical professional?
Are you an injured worker – wanting to get back to work?
Have you been out on medical leave due to a “serious health condition”?
Have you had to file a claim for worker’s compensation benefits?
Are you desirous to return to work but your employer needs to make some sort of “accommodation” for you before it will be possible? (i.e. a desk job for a while, transfer to another department, etc.)
Disability As Defined by California Disability Law
Do you have any physical or mental condition that limits your ability to do your job without some kind of special accommodation at work?
Do you suffer from depression or other mental illness?
Are you perceived or regarded as disabled now or in the future by your employer?
If any of the above describes your situation, you may be disabled within the meaning of California Law.
California disability law provides far greater definitions and protections than the more well-known Federal Law: Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). If you are deemed to be “disabled” within the scope and definition of the more broad California law, you have important legal rights, which we can help you to protect and defend.
California disability law prohibits discrimination on the basis of both “physical” and “mental” disabilities. “Physical disabilities” include, but are not limited to, any physiological and anatomical conditions that affect certain body conditions and limit an individual’s ability to participate in major life activities. The following conditions are automatically considered “physical disabilities” if proven, which means that they “limit a major life activity" such as: chronic or episodic conditions such as HIV/AIDS; hepatitis; epilepsy; seizure disorder; multiple sclerosis; and heart disease.
Other conditions that may be considered “physical disabilities” include, but are not limited to, back conditions that impair working or other major life activities; polio; hypertension and high blood pressure; hypersensitivity to tobacco smoke; obesity caused by a physiological or systematic basis. A “physical disability” may also include health impairments that require special education or related services. Also, an employee who is perceived to have or have had a disability may sue for disability discrimination.
The term “mental disabilities” is meant to be broadly construed and includes any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness and specific learning disabilities that “limit a major life activity.” Conditions that are automatically presumed to be “mental disabilities” include, but are not limited to, clinical depression or a bipolar disorder. Other conditions that may be considered “mental disabilities”, which means that they “limit a major life activity”, are specific learning disabilities; post traumatic stress disorder; any other mental or psychological condition that requires special education or related services; a record or history of such conditions known to the employer; and being regarded by the employer as having or having had a mental condition or disorder that makes achievement of a major life activity difficult, or that although it has no present disabling effect, may become a mental disability.
Fighting Disability Discrimination
Two approaches are described below, and may follow one after the other if the first does not get results:
1. Negotiate with Your Employer
Present a strong and convincing case to your Employer to convince them to Honor Your Rights. Show your employer that the employer’s stance is illegal and they will most likely lose in court and be subjected to monetary damages if you are to pursue legal action. Discrimination Attorney John McCarty has been involved with clients who have:
- been out on disability;
- been out on a workers compensation injury; or
- needed an “accommodation” such as a ramp, a smoke-free environment, temporary alternative job placement, something “less physical” for some amount of time, or other consideration in order to return and resume their job.
In situations such as this a letter or a call from your attorney may be sufficient to help you reclaim your job – simply by letting your employer know that you are serious and anxious to return to your work but for an accommodation that they need to address to make that happen.
2. Go to Court to Assert Your Rights if Negotiations Fail
Attorney John McCarthy represents clients who have been discriminated against on the basis of their disability or who are not receiving the accommodations to which they are entitled under California Disability Law.
In some cases, where a letter or phone call will not encourage an employer to honor your employment rights, it may become necessary to file a lawsuit to protect your employee rights.
Call San Diego Employment Lawyer John McCarthy at (800) 690-1701 to determine whether you are disabled within the meaning of California law and to then protect and defend your rights as a disabled worker.