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Understanding Disability Discrimination

By Gregory Thyberg on August 15, 2017


A court building facadePeople with disabilities are entitled to the same opportunities as everyone else in all aspects of public life. When disability discrimination occurs in the workplace, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides the individual discriminated against a legal recourse for remedying the situation. Depending on the discriminatory event, this may include promotion, back pay, job reinstatement, hiring, or reasonable accommodation.

The attorneys of Thyberg Law are knowledgeable in the complexities of the ADA and state discrimination laws and are dedicated to protecting their clients' rights. Experienced in disability discrimination and physical disabilities cases in and around Sacramento, CA, our disability discrimination attorneys can help you get justice in your discrimination case.

What Is Disability Discrimination?

Simply put, disability discrimination is treating a person with a disability unequally or less favorably than someone without a disability. Disability discrimination can occur anywhere, such as the workplace, like when an employer refuses to provide wheelchair accessibility to an employee, or in a place of business, like when a store owner refuses to let a person with a service dog enter his or her business.

About the Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law established in 1990 that aims to protect individuals with disabilities from discrimination in public life and all areas open to the general public, such as schools, the workplace, public transportation, and places of business.

Those with a disability as defined by the ADA include anyone who is physically or mentally impaired, as well as anyone who may be perceived as disabled. This means that a person who does not consider him or herself as disabled may still be protected under the ADA, if, for example, his or her employee views him or her as disabled.

Disability Discrimination in the Workplace

The Americans with Disabilities Act defines discrimination in the workplace as occurring when a person is denied a position because of his or her disability, despite being otherwise qualified for the job.  This means the person would be able to do the job with or without reasonable accommodations.

On the other hand, if a person with a disability is denied a job or position because he or she is unable to perform the essential functions of a position, even with reasonable accommodations, then discrimination has likely not occurred. An obvious example of this would be denying a legally blind person a position driving a school bus.

Employers have an obligation to provide reasonable accommodations in the workplace for those with disabilities. Reasonable accommodation means an adjustment in procedures or policy, or providing devices and tools that would allow a person with a disability to be able to perform the functions of a job. This may include installing wheelchair ramps, lowering shelves, or adjusting work schedules.

Accommodations must be reasonable for employers. This means accommodations may not be required if they would significantly disrupt the operation of a workplace or require unreasonable costs to facilitate. This also means that even if an accommodation is seemingly reasonable, but the employer can demonstrate that it is not feasible due to the company's financial situation, the accommodation may not be deemed reasonable.

Our Disability Discrimination Attorneys Can Help

If you believe you have been discriminated against in the workplace or other public sector because of your disability, you may have legal recourse through federal and state laws. Contact our disability discrimination lawyers to discuss the details of your case.

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