Disabilities vary significantly among the working population. Sometimes employers unfairly use these disabilities as a reason to fire or not hire qualified workers.
Knowing the answers to these frequently asked questions can help workers determine if their job loss or inability to obtain a job results from disability discrimination.
Can employers refuse to offer employment or fire an employee if a worker has a disability?
Employers must try to help those with mental or physical limitations maintain or obtain their jobs. This means that prospective and current employees should work with employers to discuss limitations and how accommodations might improve the worker’s job performance. The laws require employers to do everything they can to assist employees with disabilities.
What is an employer’s due diligence?
Employers must make every possible accommodation to allow disabled workers to perform their jobs. Some examples may be:
- providing chairs or stools to sit on
- offering more frequent breaks
- modifying equipment
If the accommodation causes undue hardship to the employers, their inability to hire disabled workers is not because of discrimination.
What disabilities does California employment law recognize?
Discrimination laws protect several categories of disabilities. These may include physical disabilities such as disfigurement, being hard of hearing or chronic diseases. Additionally, these also include mental disabilities such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, bipolar and anxiety.
If a disability prevents prospective workers from obtaining jobs or employees from maintaining employment, they might have experienced discrimination in the workplace. Filing a lawsuit may allow them to collect financial and punitive damages.