If you believe that you are a victim of employment discrimination because you have a disability, or if your employer has refused to provide you with reasonable accommodations for your disability, you may have a claim against your employer under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
People with disabilities, including older Americans who have physical, sensory, cognitive, or mental impairments, are covered by the ADA, which was enacted to, “…assure equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic, and self-sufficiency, for individuals with disabilities.”
The disability discrimination lawyers at our law firm are committed to furthering the goals of the ADA by holding California employers who violate the act accountable. If you have been discriminated against in Los Angeles because of a disability you have, call Yadegar, Minoofar & Soleymani today at (310) 499-0140 to speak with an experienced Los Angeles employment lawyer. We can help you obtain justice.
To Which Employer Does The ADA Apply?
The ADA applies to every employer with at least 15 employees, except the federal government, private clubs, and Native American tribal nations. However, the ADA is not the only law that prohibits disability discrimination in California. The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) also prohibits discrimination and harassment based on disability. In fact, the FEHA applies to even smaller employers with at least five employees.
Which Employees Are Covered Under the ADA?
For an employee to be covered under the ADA, they must fit into one of the following categories:
- People with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity
- People with a record of such an impairment; and
- People who are regarded as having such an impairment
This means, a person can qualify for the ADA’s protections by having a disability, having a history of a disability, or being considered by others to have a disability, even if they do not.
What Does the ADA Cover?
The ADA covers all aspects of employment, including:
- Applying for a job
- Employee benefits; and
- Workplace privileges
To be covered, an individual must not only have a disability but must also be qualified to perform the job with or without reasonable accommodations. The ADA defines qualified as someone who satisfies the required job skills, experience, education, and other job requirements, and can perform the essential job functions with or without reasonable accommodations.
What are Reasonable Accommodations Under the ADA?
Not only does ADA prohibit discrimination and harassment based on one’s disability, but it also requires that an employer make reasonable accommodations that would allow a disabled individual to perform their job duties..
A simple example of a reasonable accommodation is providing a ramp so a wheelchair-bound employee can enter and leave the office. A reasonable accommodation could also take the form of an assistive device, schedule change, or even a shift from full-time to part-time employment.
Employers are required to make reasonable accommodations unless the accommodation would pose an undue hardship on the employer. An undue hardship is any accommodation that would require significant difficulty or expense.
Most accommodations can be achieved with relatively little difficulty or expense. Nevertheless, a significant number of ADA disability discrimination claims involve disputes over whether a requested accommodation is reasonable.
If no accommodation would enable an employee to perform the central functions of the job, then the employer is not required to make an accommodation. Similarly, if an employee cannot perform the essential functions of the job under any circumstances, the employer may not be obligated to hire or continue to employ the employee at all.
An employer may also refuse to hire or make accommodations for a person in the workplace who poses a direct threat to themselves or others. An immediate threat is any significant risk of substantial harm that a reasonable accommodation will not reduce.
Other Prohibitions under the ADA
The ADA also prohibits employers from asking questions about a person’s disability before making an offer to hire them. An employer is only allowed to ask questions about the employee’s ability to perform essential functions of the job.
Furthermore, an employer cannot require an employee to undergo any medical test or examination until after making an offer to hire them and before the employee starts to work. Then the employer may require a medical test or examination, but cannot refuse to hire an individual based on the results of those tests unless the reason for the rejection is job-related.
Suing for Disability Discrimination Under the ADA
When suing for disability discrimination under the ADA, you can’t go directly to court. You or your lawyer must file an administrative complaint with a government agency First. This generally means filing a complaint with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the California Civil Rights Department (CRD).
The Statute of Limitations for Disability Discrimination Claims
The agency you file with depends on whether you plan to sue under the federal law, the ADA, or California State Law, the FEHA. If you are filing under the ADA, you must file your administrative complaint with the EEOC within 300 days of the discrimination. This is called a statute of limitations. If you wait more than 300 days, you may not be able to bring your case at all. If you are filing under FEHA, you only have three years to file an administrative complaint with the CRD.
Call Our Los Angeles Disability Discrimination Lawyers For The Help You Need
People with disabilities face significant challenges with employment. But laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act protect people with disabilities from discrimination in the workplace.
If you have been a victim of disability discrimination in Los Angeles, Contact YMS today for a free case evaluation. Our Los Angeles discrimination lawyers are standing by to answer any questions you have about your situation and to discuss your legal options. Call us at (310) 499-0140 or fill out our online contact form to get started.