Lawyers Protecting The Rights Of People With Disabilities

Bill was diagnosed with a medical condition that left his lower body partially paralyzed. His doctors said he could return to his regular job, but with reasonable accommodations for a wheelchair. After discussing the medical treatment with his boss, Bill was immediately demoted to another department that does not require his advanced degree in engineering. He feels certain the demotion is intended to force him into quitting, so the company won't face a large increase in health insurance costs.

If this case sounds familiar, call Hennig Ruiz at 424-394-0464 to discuss your circumstances with our office.

At Hennig Ruiz Law Firm in Los Angeles, California, our employment litigation attorneys believe people should be valued for their abilities on the job, not their disabilities. The federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act agree. Under current law, it is illegal for an employer to take adverse action against a worker with a disability due to the disability. In addition, under specific circumstances, employers are required to make reasonable accommodations for the disability.

Disability Discrimination

Disability in California encompasses a broader spectrum of medical conditions than we traditionally think of when we think of disabilities. Under California law, a disability includes any medical condition that impairs a major life activity, including the ability of an employee to work. Disabilities take many forms, from physical impairments to psychiatric conditions.

Reasonable Accommodation

Under California law, an employer that becomes aware of an employee's disability has a duty to provide a "reasonable accommodation" to the employee if the disability impacts the employee's ability to do his or her job. Employees who have disabilities that impact their ability to do their job may contact their supervisor or human resource department to both inform their employer of the disability and to request a reasonable accommodation.

Interactive Process

As part of the process of providing a reasonable accommodation, an employer must engage in an "interactive process" to discuss potential accommodations with the employee. This process involves the employer discussing with the employee what is needed for the employee to perform the essential functions of the job. All too often, employers fail to either discuss accommodation or offer a reasonable accommodation, instead terminating employees who require accommodations.

Steps You Should Take

If you believe that you are or have been subjected to disability discrimination, you should document the discrimination and follow your employer's internal policies or procedures for making a complaint. Additionally, if you believe that you have a disability or medical condition that requires a reasonable accommodation, you should explain the need for accommodation to your employer and request a discussion of specific accommodations. A record of this treatment and documentation of complaints are key evidence in any claim for discrimination. If you believe that you may have been subjected to disability discrimination, you may contact our offices for a free consultation.

Kamali v. State of California, Department of Transportation
In a single-plaintiff disability failure to accommodate/discrimination claim, our firm obtained a judgment of $1.8 million in 2012 against the State of California's Department of Transportation (Caltrans) after an employee's accommodations were repeatedly denied.

Contact Us To Schedule A Free Consultation With Our Office

Please visit our Do I Have a Case? page to answer a few questions relating to your circumstances. If the questionnaire indicates you may have a case against your employer, contact us for a free consultation. Se habla español.