Every employee has the right to do his or her job without harassment or experiencing discriminatory treatment. Unfortunately, California employees may sometimes experience discrimination in the workplace for various reasons, including because of a disability. This type of discrimination is not only reprehensible, it is a violation of your rights as a disabled individual, and you do not have to suffer from this type of treatment in silence.
If you are a disabled employee, you have certain rights and protections provided to you by the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as the Rehabilitation Act. If you are a victim of this type of reprehensible treatment, you may be able to take steps that will hold your employer accountable for what you experienced. It is in your interests to learn more about how to make the discriminatory treatment stop and what to do next.
The various forms of disability discrimination
Discrimination on the basis of someone’s disability can come in different forms, and one of the things you may experience is harassment. You might experience negative comments about your disability, or a co-worker may act aggressively toward you over the accommodations you receive. Harassment could be more subtle, or you may experience treatment that makes you feel uneasy or unsafe. The development of a hostile work environment is a sign that what you are experiencing counts as harassment.
You may also experience disability discrimination if your employer does not provide you with the required accommodations necessary for you to do your job. Employers have the legal requirement to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities as long as doing so would not cause the employer significant expense or complications. This might include allowing you frequent breaks, giving you certain types of equipment, making the work environment wheelchair accessible and more.
How can you protect your rights?
If you are the victim of disability discrimination, you do not have to remain silent. You may have grounds to pursue legal action against your employer, but it is not always easy to know if you have a case. You may also feel intimidated by the thought of speaking out, or you may fear experiencing some type of retaliation for filing a claim.
You do not have to navigate the civil justice system alone. If you are unsure of where to begin, it may help to start with an assessment of your case and explanation of the legal options available to you. These cases are time-sensitive, and quick action may add to your chance of a successful claim.