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What Are the Different Kinds of Disability Discrimination in the Workplace?

Federal and state laws protect disabled workers. The goal of these laws is to increase the employment of people with disabilities. Yet, even with these protections, only 40 percent of adults with disabilities have a job. Furthermore, disabled workers who do not have jobs often face unnecessary hurdles and obstacles in the workforce. One of these hurdles is disability discrimination in the workplace. Although it is illegal, it still occurs with alarming regularity.

Disability discrimination at work occurs when an employer treats a disabled employee unfavorably due to his or her disability. There are numerous laws in place that protect against disability discrimination. These laws include the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Rehabilitation Act, the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) and the Family Medical Leave Act.  Employers that violate these laws may face legal consequences.

It is important to know that disability laws do not give disabled employees special treatment. Instead, these laws strive to make the workplace equal for individuals with disabilities. To qualify for protection under these laws, a worker must have the necessary qualifications to perform the essential functions of their job. They must also have a legally defined disability.

It is important to understand the various kinds of disability discrimination that can occur at work. This will help you protect your rights as an employee and take legal action if you are a victim.

Employment-Based Discrimination

It is illegal for employers to discriminate against disabled workers when making employment decisions. This includes discriminating against disabled workers when hiring, firing and promoting workers. The law also prevents employers from denying disabled workers benefits or additional training. There are two basic kinds of employment discrimination, including:

  • Direct discrimination. This type of disability discrimination occurs when a disabled worker receives unfair treatment due to his or her disability.
  • Indirect discrimination. This type of disability discrimination occurs when a company’s policies put disabled workers at a disadvantage.


It is against the law to harass a disabled worker due to his or her disability. This includes verbal harassment, as well as physical harassment. Verbal and offensive remarks about a person’s disability can create a hostile work environment. This harassment can come from anyone in the workplace, including supervisors, co-workers and even clients.

Failure to Provide Reasonable Accommodations

Disability laws require all employers to make reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities. They must make these accommodations as long as they do not pose an undue hardship on the employer. However, many employers ignore the law and fail to offer such accommodations. Examples of reasonable accommodations include:

  • Providing additional medical leave
  • Job restructuring
  • Allowing a more flexible work schedule
  • Making the office wheelchair friendly
  • Hiring an interpreter for a hearing-impaired worker

Call Our Los Angeles Disability Discrimination Lawyers to Learn More

Disabled workers need a strong legal advocate on their side. Facing harassment or disability discrimination in the workplace can be debilitating. It can also make finding consistent employment nearly impossible. When this occurs, you need a lawyer to fight for you and your rights. Schedule a free consultation with the Los Angeles disability discrimination lawyers at Yadegar, Minoofar & Soleymani LLP today by calling (310) 526-8152 or using our online contact form. We offer compassionate and aggressive legal representation every step of the way.

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