Disability Discrimination in the Workplace

By Gregory Thyberg on August 06, 2022


man in a wheelchair with a laptop on his lapEmployee disability discrimination is against the law but, sadly, it happens frequently in the workplace. When disability discrimination takes place, employees who have been wronged may recover damages through a discrimination lawsuit. 

At Thyberg Law, attorney Gregory A. Thyberg helps recover financial compensation and hold employers liable for disability discrimination in the workplace in Sacramento, CA, and surrounding areas. Find out more as we take a closer look at disability discrimination in the workplace.

Protections from State and Federal Law

Employees with disabilities are protected from discrimination by state and federal laws. The two primary anti-discrimination laws include: 

  • The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA): The FEHA is a state law that applies to employers in Sacramento and all of California with five or more employees and makes it illegal to discriminate against employees or job applicants because of a disability. 
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): The ADA is a federal law that applies to employers with 15 or more employees that makes it illegal to discriminate against people with disabilities in the workplace as well as other areas, such as housing and transportation. 

Who Qualifies for Protection Under the FEHA?

The FEHA is broader than the ADA, giving qualified Californians more protections than with the federal law alone. However, there are certain qualifying factors that must be met in order to be protected by the FEHA. Employees must have:

  • A medical condition: Medical conditions covered by the FEHA include conditions such as current cancer, a history of cancer, or heart disease.  
  • Physical disability: Physical disabilities are broadly defined under the FEHA and include conditions such as anatomical loss, a physiological disease or disorder, and other physical disabilities that make participating in major life activities more difficult.  
  • Mental disability: A mental disability includes psychological and mental disorders, such as bipolar disorder, depression, and severe anxiety.
  • Be able to perform essential job functions: An employee must also be able to perform essential job functions with or without reasonable accommodations and without great risk of injuring themselves or injuring others. 

Examples of Disability Discrimination in the Workplace

Disability discrimination in the workplace happens when an employer treats an employee or applicant unfairly because they have a disability or history of a disability. Discrimination is sometimes obvious and other times more subtle. Some examples of disability discrimination in the workplace include:

  • Failure to make reasonable accommodations to help a person with a disability perform the duties of their job. 
  • Asking disability related questions during the interview process 
  • Harassing an employee or job applicant because of their disability and creating a hostile work environment.
  • Firing someone for their disability

Seek Compensation

Proving disability discrimination in the workplace can be complicated and challenging. A disability discrimination lawyer can help determine if discrimination took place and collect evidence to support such claims and recover compensation for damages including:

  • Lost wages
  • Lost benefits
  • Punitive damages 

Contact Thyberg Law

If you believe you’ve experienced disability discrimination in the workplace, attorney Gregory Thyberg can review the details of your claim to help determine which legal options are right for you. Call our Sacramento law firm at (916) 204-9173 to schedule a consultation.

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