There are a number of legal statutes in place to assist those living with disabilities. However, they are not always observed to acceptable standards. When these failures occur, disabled individuals can find justice and often receive compensation for another’s failure to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act or Fair Employment and Housing Act regulations.
The FEHA is intended to offer protection to those with disabilities. It is the job of the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing to enforce the FEHA. According to the DFEH, nearly 20,000 cases were filed in 2012 regarding employment law. Of the top three reasons for filing, more than 13,452 cases were concerned with disability discrimination, almost twice that of either race discrimination or sexual harassment, which ranked second and third.
Some people might not fully understand the extent to which disability claims apply. Beyond physical disabilities, there are also mental afflictions such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Employers must be sensitive and accommodating to every disability, regardless of whether they can empathize. If you report such a disability to your employer and reasonable accommodations are not made, you may have grounds to file a disability discrimination claim.
Employers are legally obligated to accommodate individuals who live with disabilities, but judging from the sheer number of lawsuits related to disability discrimination in California, it appears, with alarming frequency, employers are failing to do so. When facing unfair circumstances at work, you should know that there are laws in place to protect you, and you are entitled to take action.
Source: Business Management Daily, “California’s DFEH report highlights coming discrimination trends,” March 27, 2014