Wrongful Termination Based on Disability
California law prohibits workplace discrimination against workers who have a disability. As a result, an employer cannot fire an employee because the employee has an actual or perceived disability. California law defines “disability” in broad terms, dividing it into three sub-categories: physical disability, mental disability , and medical condition. The Orange County employment discrimination lawyers at the Nassiri Law Group help people who have been the victims of wrongful termination due to disability. If you believe you were fired from a job on the basis of a disability, contact us today.Employment Discrimination Law in California
In 1959, the California legislature passed the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), a far-reaching law that protects Californians from discrimination in employment and housing situations. Over the years, FEHA has been updated to stay current, and today it is a powerful tool that workers in California can utilize if they have been the victims of workplace discrimination. Many Californians have taken advantage of FEHA’s prohibition against disability discrimination in the workplace. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing reports that in 2012, 23.5 percent of all workplace discrimination claims were based discrimination due to disability.Protections for California Workers with Disabilities
FEHA states that it is unlawful “[f]or an employer, because of the . . . physical disability, mental disability, [or] medical condition, . . . of any person . . . to discharge the person from employment . . .” as long as the person can perform the essential duties of the job, given reasonable accommodations. A reasonable accommodation can be making existing facilities useable for the employee or restructuring the job in a way that allows the employee to continue working. The definition of reasonable accommodation is broad, so if you are not sure whether your employer has offered you a reasonable accommodation, contact us for help.
The definition of a mental or physical disability is expansive and includes not only an actual mental or physical disability, but also a perceived disability. This means that even if you do not have a disability, but you were fired because your employer thought you did, your employer’s actions were in violation of FEHA.
In addition to FEHA, there are federal standards that protect people with disabilities from discrimination, including being terminated from a job because of that disability. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) offers many of the same protections as FEHA. One important distinction is that FEHA is designed to cover any physical or mental disability that results in a limitation on a major life activity. This is broader coverage than exists under the ADA, which requires a “substantial limitation” on a major life activity. Therefore, even if your disability is not covered by the ADA, it may be covered under California law.
Under FEHA, employees who have been wrongfully terminated from their jobs may be entitled to recoup their lost wages and collect damages for the emotional distress their employer’s actions have caused. In some cases, workers may also be entitled to punitive damages, which punish employers who act egregiously.Advocating for Victims of Disability Discrimination in the Workplace
Being fired from a job because of a disability is not only illegal and unjust, but can also be disastrous to your financial situation and emotional health. The Orange County employment attorneys at the Nassiri Law Group understand the options that you have if this has happened to you. With offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, and Riverside, our lawyers are prepared to fight for the equality of California workers. If you have been fired, and you think it was because of your disability, call the Nassiri Law Group at 714.937.2020 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation today.