Recent years have seen massive gains toward equality for all people, including those with disabilities. Acts such as the ADA and FEHA have raised awareness of the difficulties that disabled people face in the workplace, and they hold employers accountable for being negligent or disrespectful of those difficulties. Still, as much as progress has been made to lessen disability discrimination in the workplace, recent data indicates that there is still work to be done.
After a difficult and brutal depression, the economy has started to show signs of recovery. The unemployment rate is almost down to 6 percent, and the Labor Department reported the creation of over 200,000 jobs in May. Despite the creation of these jobs, the jobless rate for disabled individuals has actually increased to 12.7 percent, an increase of 0.2 percent. The Labor Department’s data seems to demonstrate that more disabled individuals were actually employed in May, but more people have been added to the disabled demographic.
More disabled individuals means more employees that will need reasonable accommodation at their place of work. This may require employers to invest time and money into making their place of business more accessible to disabled employees, and some employers may decide that it isn’t worth the effort. Fortunately for California residents, they are protected from such business practices.
The FEHA and the ADA protect disabled individuals from being discriminated against, including wrongful termination or neglecting to accommodate your disability. In California, you don’t have to worry about your disability preventing you from working. You are protected by the law, and you are within your rights to pursue legal action against those whom you believe are discriminating against you because of your disability.
Source: Disability Scoop, “Employment Hurdles Remain For People With Disabilities,” Shaun Heasley, June 6, 2014