Wrongful Termination Based on Mental Disability
In California, employers may not discriminate against an employee because of the employee’s mental disability. This means that it is unlawful for an employer to fire an employee because the employee has a mental disability. The Orange County disability discrimination lawyers at the Nassiri Law Group are knowledgeable about the rights that California law gives workers, and we can help the victims of unlawful termination due to mental disability get their lives back on track.
Mental Disability Discrimination in California The California Legislature passed a powerful law, called the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), which protects the rights of disabled Californians at home and in the workplace. If you suffer from a mental disability you are not alone: The National Institute on Mental Health estimates that 26.4 percent of Americans have a diagnosable mental disorder. With more than one in four adults suffering from a mental disorder, the protections offered by FEHA are necessary to ensure that all California workers have an equal opportunity to make a living.California Law Protects Workers with Mental Disabilities
FEHA protects workers with a mental disability by making it unlawful for an employer to fire or take adverse action against a worker on the basis of the worker’s mental disability, as long as the worker can perform the necessary tasks of the job with a “reasonable accommodation.” A reasonable accommodation may involve changing the workplace or the structure of the job. The specifics of what constitutes a reasonable accommodation may vary, so if you are not sure whether your employer has given you a reasonable accommodation, contact us for a free consultation.
The legislature made sure to define “mental disability” broadly to include, among other things, intellectual disabilities, emotional and mental illnesses, and learning disabilities. Workers who have such a condition that limits a major life activity, even if that limitation is mitigated through medication or therapy, are covered under FEHA. The law even protects you if you have a history of a mental disability that your employer knows about, or if your employer simply thinks you have a mental disability and you do not.
There is also a federal law that protects workers with mental disabilities. It is called the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and it offers many of the same protections as FEHA. However, FEHA can be more powerful for California employees than the ADA because FEHA requires only a “limitation” on a major life activity, versus the ADA’s “significant limitation” standard. Therefore, even if your disability is not protected under the ADA, it may be protected under FEHA.
FEHA allows workers who are the victims of unlawful termination due to a mental disability to recoup their lost wages and potentially recover damages to compensate them for any emotional distress caused by their employer’s actions. Under some circumstances, workers may also be able to recover punitive damages, which are designed to punish employers who may have acted badly.Attorneys for Victims of Mental Disability Discrimination
Employers who fire a worker because the worker has a mental disability have broken the law. Their actions not only cost the worker a job, but also may have caused the employee to suffer distress and mental anguish. The Orange County employment attorneys at the Nassiri Law Group understand the pain caused by an unlawful termination and are here to help. If you have been fired from your job, and think it was related to your mental disability, fill out the form on our contact page or give us a call at 714.937.2020 today.