DISABILITY

Discrimination based on disability, failure to accommodate a disability and discrimination based on a medical condition.

Compared to other areas of employment law, disability claims, specifically failure to accommodate disability, are relatively new. The Americans with Disabilities Act dates back to 1990[1], it protects all employees in the United States with disabilities by prohibiting disability discrimination and requiring that employees provide reasonable accommodations to allow disabled persons to work.  As is often the case, however, California led the way on this issue long before that.  California law often provides greater protections than federal law and the laws of other states.  California has protected against disability discrimination for all employees since 1973.

The law is now well developed in this area.  Did you know that if you are a disabled employee seeking a job or wishing to have modifications made to your current job that your employer has the legal burden of: (1) meeting with you to have a good faith interactive discussions about what your limitations are and how they can be accommodated, (2) offering possible accommodations that would allow you to work such as modified job duties, machinery or assistive equipment , (3) explaining why any potential reasonable accommodation it feels it cannot provide would cause the employer an undue burden and (4) giving you preferential consideration for job opportunities that become available, for which you are qualified, on a non-competitive basis.  Contact me to learn more.

[1] The federal Rehabilitation Act protected against disability discrimination and was passed in 1973 but it only applied to government contractors.