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Physical Disability Discrimination: Knowing Your Rights

By Gregory Thyberg on June 16, 2018


An office meetingThe Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) protects countless Californians from discriminatory practices. Yet even with the legal protections outlined in the FEHA, disability discrimination and racial discrimination still occurs. When you are the victim of an injustice, working with an attorney is crucial. Our Sacramento, CA lawyers can fight for your legal rights and hold discriminatory parties accountable for their unjust actions.

Disability discrimination at the workplace can take many different forms. Our lawyers would like to consider various kinds off disability discrimination and what can be done about it.

How Physical Disabilities Are Legally Defined

A physical disability refers to an injury, illness, genetic condition, or disfigurement that affects one or more of the body’s systems, limiting a person’s ability to participate in major life activities. The FEHA classification is broad considering the many forms that a physical disability may take, which allows for protections for various individuals.

Lack of Reasonable Accommodation

Reasonable accommodation refers to actions that can be taken at the workplace to allow an employee with a physical disability to perform their job duties. This may include modified workspaces to accommodate wheelchairs, changes in shift schedule to allow for medical visits, and even days that allow the employee to work remotely. Denying these kinds of simple accommodations for an employee with a disability could be considered a form of disability discrimination.

Wage Discrimination Over Physical Disability

Sometimes the discrimination becomes overt. Employers may pay a disabled employee less than an employee who does not have a physical disability. Whether this applies to salary or hourly wage, such practices should not occur since pay disparities are a form of discrimination.

Being Passed Over for a Promotion or Raise

An employee who has worked hard and done their job well deserves to move up in a company based on their performance. However, sometimes employers refuse to promote an employee solely on the basis of a physical disability. These kinds of actions are unacceptable, and demonstrate a disregard for the employee’s commendable service on the job.

Wrongful Termination for Physical Disability

Wrongful termination is perhaps one of the worst forms of employee discrimination. In these cases, an employee is fired solely for being disabled, not because of job performance or issues with other workers. FEHA protects individuals with disabilities from being fired on the basis of their disability.

Harassment at the Workplace Due to Disability

Your supervisors and bosses are not the only people who can mistreat your because of a physical disability. Fellow employees may mistreat you as well, insulting you at work or starting gossip amount your co-workers. This harassment cannot be tolerated, and must be addressed to maintain an inclusive and healthy work environment.

Pre-Employment Discrimination

Disability discrimination can occur before you even start your job. During the interview process, you may face discrimination because of your physical disability even though it does not impact your ability to perform the job duties. In addition to helping with on-the-job discrimination, lawyers can assist with these acts of pre-employment discrimination.

Learn More About Your Legal Protections

For more information about your legal rights and protections at the workplace, be sure to contact an experienced worker’s rights attorney. We are here to fight for you in your time of legal need.

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