What Are Some Examples Of Disability Discrimination That You See?
Some of the first cases in California involving disability discrimination centered around access. Lawyers filed many lawsuits for people who couldn’t get their wheelchair into a bathroom or were unable to use some of the same services that people who didn’t have disabilities were able to freely. Simply by virtue of their disability, they were shut out from going into restaurants, working or from enjoying the same kind of access that able-bodied persons enjoy all day long without a thought. California then began to see an increase in cases related to reasonable accommodation in the workplace for workers with disability. For example, we recently had with a client who had diabetes and sleep apnea. This client needed to take additional rest breaks at work due to their conditions, but unfortunately, the employer considered this a request to sleep on the job. It took a major shift in the thought process of the employer for them to understand that our client’s request was a reasonable accommodation. They finally understood that a rest period can assist in preventing a diabetic attack or a hypoglycemic episode.
Another example of a reasonable accommodation case involves a client who suffered from a medical condition and needed to have his leg amputated. Before the incident he was a bus driver. After his amputation he used a prosthetic leg and was able to rehabilitate himself and is able to drive a bus just like before, without any special kind of equipment or accommodation. Nevertheless, the bus company told him he could not be hired because they think it’s unsafe to have him as a driver. This is a great example of a case worth litigating.
What Should Someone Do If They Believe Their Civil Rights As A Disabled Person Have Been Violated?
If you believe your civil rights as a disabled person have been violated, you should seek out and talk to your employer. Ensure that your employer understands your rights are being violated because oftentimes the employer doesn’t know. Unless you speak up and document it, you may not be able to get any help. The law clearly states that if you’re disabled, you must talk to your employer and engage in good faith to come up with a reasonable accommodation for your disability. However, unless you speak up about it, you can’t always count on the employer to do their job of finding a reasonable accommodation.
The next step I would recommend is to document all conversations with your employer and all of their responses. Sometimes employers don’t think that they have the duty to make a reasonable accommodation for a disability. Therefore, if you document your attempts to talk to your employer, that could be critical evidence in your favor.
The next thing you should do is contact a lawyer. An experienced lawyer can help you file an administrative claim with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing or with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. If that doesn’t work, a lawyer can then help you file a lawsuit in either state or federal court. With the help of a qualified attorney, a court can require your employer to provide reasonable accommodations and potentially compensate you for failure to do so initially.
How Common Are Civil Rights Workplace Violations Occurring In California?
We get phone calls every single day from people who believe that their civil rights are being violated in the workplace. I would say that in roughly half of those cases, people have an actual claim and their civil rights are truly being violated. That means civil rights violations in California happen daily and are often widespread.
For more information on Disability Discrimination In The Workspace, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (213) 257-8999 today.
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