• Tom Girardi

Did you suffer discrimination at work because of a disability?

While the federal government provides you with protections due to your disability, California does as well. The Department of Fair Employment and Housing investigates complaints of discrimination as long as you file a complaint within one year of when you say you suffered it.

Having a disability may provide you with enough challenges. You don't need your employer discriminating against you because of it. Learn about your options in California.

What California law says

State law prohibits employers from discriminating against applicants and employees based on the existence of a disability or a perceived disability. Other requirements and prohibitions under state law include: 

Retaliating against you for filing a complaint or otherwise exercising your rightsRequiring you to undergo a psychological or medical examinationFailing to reasonably accommodate your disability unless it causes the employer an undue hardshipHarassing you based on your disabilityAsking you about the severity and nature of your medical condition, psychological disability or physical disabilityAsking you whether you have a protected condition or disability.

Disabilities can be mental, medical or physical even if they are not presently causing you issues. The law does not consider conditions like kleptomania, illegal substance abuse, compulsive gambling or sexual behavior disorders as disabilities.

A prospective employer can ask you whether you can perform the essential functions of the job with or without an accommodation. Once offered a job, your new employer can require you to submit to an examination as long as it is necessary to the business, job related and required of everyone. You may also voluntarily submit to an independent examination if the employer disputes whether you can perform the duties of the job.

What can you do if you feel discriminated against?

You deserve the same opportunities as everyone else, especially if you can perform the job. Even if you need a reasonable accommodation, an employer cannot discriminate against you for your disability or for needing some assistance in doing your job.

If you feel that a prospective or current employer is discriminating against you due to your disability, you have options. Understand your rights by talking with a legal professional who can help you determine the best course of action under the circumstances.