How to file a disability discrimination claim and disability discrimination lawsuit
Every day, our law firm hears about disability discrimination cases in the workplace. In an ideal world, when employers consider applicants/employees they look at only two factors: their qualifications and their ability to perform the essential job functions. As we all have come to know, however, this is not an ideal world. There are some employers out there who look beyond these two factors and use the bifocals of prejudice to make employment-based decisions. For many centuries in the U.S., women and minorities were discriminated against and there was nothing they could really do because it was not unlawful for employers to do so. Centuries later, in come the pioneers of change, and pave the way for the civil rights to include not only white men, but women, minorities, and other persons who faced flat-out discrimination (a battle that continues to this day in 2017, make no mistake).
As every disability discrimination lawyer knows, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 made it unlawful for employers to discriminate based on things like race and sex, but disability discrimination was not amended to it until 1990. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which made it unlawful for employers to discriminate against employees with disabilities. The definition of disability is broad under the ADA, and so covers a wide variety of conditions in order to give the employee protections and the time to recover from their injury, if recovery is possible. Employers must also make reasonable accommodations for the disabled employee, as well as giving them time to recover from their injury without terminating the employee and guaranteeing their position upon their return.
If you believe that you have been discriminated against, you may have grounds to file a disability discrimination lawsuit against your employer with HR and through employment government agencies. The California Employment Attorneys Group is here to represent you and protect your rights as a hard working American. We help people like you whose rights have been denied by their employer and help answer questions they may have about disability discrimination. Examples of such questions include:
- How do I file a disability discrimination claim with HR?
- How do I file a lawsuit with the EEOC? Do I need a disability lawyer to do that?
- How do I file a disability discrimination lawsuit against an employer? Can I sue my employer myself or do I need an attorney?
- I don’t live in Los Angeles, I live in San Diego. Can your Los Angeles law firm still help me?
- Can I file a disability discrimination lawsuit while still employed?
Here are a few things you need to know if you believe that you have been discriminated against and want to file a disability discrimination lawsuit against your employer.
What Does the ADA Define as a Disability?
The ADA defines “disability” as a mental or physical impairment that significantly limits one or more major life activities, has a history of having such disability, or being regarded as one that carries the impairment.
Major life activities are the basics of one’s life, which includes: walking, breathing, talking, seeing, learning, and working. Their major bodily functions are considered major life functions as well, like digestion, proper circulatory and respiratory systems, and other such functions.
What Laws Protect Disabled Employees?
The law which protects employees from disability discrimination is called the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The ADA makes it illegal for employers, both at the federal and state level, from discriminating against qualified applicants with disabilities in things like hiring, firing, future advancement, training, and every other terms and conditions of future employment, if they have 15 or more employees. So, for instance, if you have a disability covered by the ADA, and there is a higher position to which, normally, would go to you but because of your disability your employer promotes a less-qualified employee or hires someone else out of the blue, they may have broken the ADA and subjected you to disability discrimination. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing the ADA at the federal level and is one of two government agencies that those who wish to file a discrimination lawsuit must know about.
In the state of California, it is unlawful for employers to discriminate against disability in the same way it is federally and it is the Department of Fair Housing & Employment (DFEH) which enforces it at a state level.
How to File a Disability Discrimination Lawsuit?
You can file a complaint with HR. In order to best protect your rights, your complaint should be written and explicitly state the kind of discrimination, like, e.g., “disability discrimination.” With HR, you want to be as specific as possible in order for there to be zero room for false interpretation. After your meeting, send an email to HR to confirm about the big points that were discussed regarding your disability discrimination.
In order for you to file a disability discrimination lawsuit against your employer, you must first file a charge with a government employment agency. Either with the EEOC or the DFEH. Both agencies are in a work-sharing agreement, and so when you file a charge with one office, a duplicate copy is sent to the other office. This is known as dual filing and is intended to avoid duplicate charges and to protect your rights under both federal and state law.
The employment government agency will launch an investigation and determine if your evidence suffices to file a lawsuit. You can then request a “right-to-sue” letter, which then gives you the freedom to launch the lawsuit against your employer. It is recommended that you only request the right-to-letter once you are ready to take your employer to court as you only have 90 days to move forward from the day you receive the letter.
If you believe that you were discriminated against because of your disability, don’t hesitate to contact the California Employment Attorneys Group. Our law firm is based in Los Angeles, but we are active in many other places, including the entire state of California. We offer free consultation and a zero-fee guarantee. This is our promise to our clients which puts them first, ahead of anything else. If we don’t win the case you don’t pay for our services. If we do win, we only collect a small amount on the amount awarded.
“The people at California Labor Law where professional and and caring. They helped me in every way possible. They calling me periodically to see if there is any other need. Susanna and Desirae personally went over and above the services I ask for. Thank You! If you need a law firm I recommend California Labor Law and Employment Attorneys Group.”