Are you currently suffering from hepatitis? Is it affecting your work life? Have you been discriminated against because of having hepatitis? Did you lose your job for having hepatitis? You may have been wrongfully terminated by your employer, and to get back what you lost, you need to contact one of our attorneys in California. Since there are many types of hepatitis and people are affected in different ways, your rights under state and federal laws may vary and are on a case-by-case basis. Get in touch with one of our hepatitis A, B, and C lawyers to examine your personal situation. The lawyers at California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group will help you fight back against unlawful employers.
What laws protect me from being discriminated for having hepatitis?
Let’s look at the different laws that may or may not apply to you and your relationship to hepatitis.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects those with disabilities from being discriminated against in all public areas of life. This includes, school, work, transportation, and any area accessed by the public. Anyone who works at a company with 15 or more employees is covered under this law.
- A disability, under the law, is considered any physical or mental impairment that limits one from being able to perform one or more major life activities. Anyone with a past of a disability is also covered. The ADA does not count a disability as an impairment that is transitory and minor, meaning it does not last longer than 6 months.
- Major life activities can be seen as both general activities such as caring for oneself, walking, hearing, standing, lifting bending and so on as well as major bodily functions such as functions of the respiratory system, immune system, and digestive system.
- Employment discrimination that is prohibited under this law includes discrimination in regards to job application procedures; hiring, firing, advancement, or discharge of employees; employee compensation; job training; and other terms, conditions, and privileges or employment.
- Under the ADA, you employer may also be obligated to provide reasonable accommodations for you as long as it does not cause undue hardship for them. Reasonable accommodations are changes in the workplace that make it someone with a disability possess equal employment opportunities.
A few examples of reasonable accommodations are:
- Making existing facilities usable and accessible
- Job restructuring, modifying work schedules, reassignment to a vacant position
- Acquiring or modifying equipment to devices, adjusting or modifying examinations, training materials, or policies, and providing qualified readers or interpreters
I was fired because of my hepatitis C: Was this legal?
The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) is similar to the ADA, but covers anyone at a company with 5 or more employees. The law prohibits employment discrimination against anyone under a protected category. The protected categories are:
- Race and color
- Ancestry and national origin
- Religion and creed
- Age (over 40)
- Mental and physical disabilities
- Sex and gender
- Sexual orientation
- Gender identification
- Genetic information
- Medical condition
- Marital status
- Military or veteran status
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows for those who qualify to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave with the guarantee that they will have their job when they return.
Qualifications to be protected under the FMLA are:
- You have to had worked at your job for at least 12 months
- You have to had worked at least 1,250 hours within the last 12 months before the leave
- You employer must employ 50 or more workers
- You must live within a 75 mile radius of the worksite
Reasons to take FMLA leave are for:
- Childbirth, adoption, or foster care
- To take care of an immediate family member’s serious medical condition
- To take care of your own serious medical condition
- A serious medical condition is an impairment that causes
- Any period of incapacity or treatment related to after inpatient care
- Any period of incapacity that requires absence from work for 3 or more consecutive days
- Ongoing treatment for something that is incurable
- Surgery after and accident or injury
The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) is the state version of the FMLA. The CFRA also grants qualified individuals job secured, unpaid leave of up to 12 weeks. It is pretty similar to the FMLA. A few of the differences include:
- Pregnancy is covered under the FMLA as a serious medical condition, but not CFRA because there are separate state laws for pregnant women.
- The CFRA covers those who need to take care of a domestic partner’s serious medical condition.
How do I know what laws cover me if I have hepatitis?
Hepatitis has several different forms. Hepatitis A, for example is always acute and does not tend to last more than a few weeks. Hepatitis B and C can be acute, but also may lead to chronic hepatitis, which is hepatitis that lasts longer than 6 months. Chronic hepatitis is a continued inflammation of the liver. Sometimes it leads to cirrhosis, liver failure, or liver cancer. If you have chronic hepatitis then you may be covered under the ADA and the FEHA. Since a disability is considered an impairment lasting longer than 6 months, then chronic hepatitis may be considered a disability. This means that an employer cannot discriminate against you for having chronic hepatitis. If you’ve been discriminated against or fired because of your hepatitis then you will want to get in touch with one of our hepatitis discrimination or wrongful termination attorneys.
If you are dealing with an acute form of hepatitis A, B, or C, then you may be covered under the FMLA or CFRA. It just depends on the severity of your case. If you are required to attend multiple medical appointments, the symptoms are keeping you from being able to perform your job efficiently, and you have to be out of work to address your sickness for 3 or more consecutive days, then you may be able to use unpaid leave under these laws to deal with your hepatitis. However, if your hepatitis is not that severe, you may not be covered under any of these laws.
It should also be noted that all the laws mentioned prohibit any kind of retaliation from your employer. So if you have tried to exercise your rights under these laws because you have hepatitis A, B, or C and your employer has imposed job repercussions or even fired you, then you have a wrongful termination case. Types of retaliation besides termination are:
- Reprimanding the employee, or giving an unwarranted low evaluation
- Transferring an employee to a less desirable position
- Engaging in verbal or physical abuse
- Threatening to make or making reports to authorities
- Increased scrutiny
- Spreading false rumors
- Making a person’s work more difficult
If you have tried to enact your rights under any of these laws because of your hepatitis condition, and your employer responded in some negative way, then you need to contact one of our California hepatitis A,B, or C attorneys to file a lawsuit against your employer.
Free Consultation and Zero Fee Guarantee
Hepatitis can range in its severity, and it’s important to evaluate your own case to see which laws cover you. If you are covered by the ADA, FMLA, CFRA, or FEHA, then you are entitled to certain things. If you’ve experienced any kind of employment discrimination for having hepatitis then you may want to seek help from one of our modest attorneys to help you in a hepatitis discrimination lawsuit. If you’ve been terminated for having it, or were not allowed to take time off work and were fired for trying to, then you have a wrongful termination case. Employers should not fire you just because you need to address your serious medical condition. The lawyers at California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group understand that having hepatitis may not be fun at times, and it takes quite an emotional and physical toll on you to lose your job because of it. Call our office for a free consultation so we can help you see which of your rights were violated. We will also take on your case free of charge. Our zero fee guarantee means we do not ask for any upfront fees, and will only ask for a small fee if we win your case. This is your chance to not let your hepatitis completely control your work life.