The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was set into action in 1990 to prohibit discrimination against those with disabilities in all areas of public life. The act wanted to ensure equality for those with disabilities in schools, work, transportation and other areas open to the general public. While there are acts that work hard to create equity throughout society, there are still employers who go against this vision by discriminating and wrongfully terminating those with disabilities. If you were suspended while on disability, you should know immediately that your employer’s actions were illegal and your rights have been violated.
Title I of the ADA focuses on the act in relation to employment. It defines discrimination of employment and job related actions as job applications procedures, hiring, advancement, discharge, compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment that discriminate against individuals who are disabled. Under the law, a disability is considered a physical or mental impairment that limits one or more major life activities or a history of such impairment. Examples of major life activities that a disability may encroach upon are: caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communication, and working. This is not an exhaustive list and major bodily functions also fall under major life activities. If you identify as disabled, then you are protected from discrimination against you based on your disability under this law. The ADA applies to employees who work at companies with 15 or more employees.
As a covered disabled employee, you may also be entitled to a reasonable accommodation provided by your employer. The ADA requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for their disabled employees. Reasonable accommodations outlined by the law are adjustments or changes to the job, hiring process, or work environment. The goal is to allow those who are disabled to have equal employment opportunities as well as be able to perform their jobs to the same extent as their coworkers without disabilities. Some examples of reasonable accommodations that are physical changes are installing ramps and modifying bathrooms. Examples of assistive technologies could be providing screen reader software or use of videophones. Some communication enhancements could be providing sign language interpreters and close captioning for meetings. Lastly, there can be policy changes such as allowing for service animals or adjusting work schedules to accommodate medical appointments.
Another form of reasonable accommodation could be allowing for an employee to take time off. This is known as disability leave. An employer may be obligated to provide unpaid leave to an employee as long as it does not cause undue hardship for the employer. If a disability leave is considered a reasonable accommodation, it does not have to fall in line with employer policies on regular paid and unpaid leave. However, the employer is not required to pay the employee on their leave, but they cannot penalize an employee for using leave as a reasonable accommodation. This would be a violation of the ADA and one form of penalization would be suspending or discharging and employee. So under the ADA, an employee cannot face negative employment repercussions for taking disability leave.
How do I apply for disability leave?
To request leave for your disability you must inform your employer the specific reason why you need time off, if the time will be a certain block of time or intermittent, and when your return date will be. If your return date is not clear, you must stay in contact with your employer and communicate updates. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows an employee to receive up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave with job security. You are covered under the FMLA if your company has 50 or more employees and you have worked there for at least a year, accumulating at least 1,250 hours of work within the past 12 months, and live within a radius of 75 miles from the job site. Reasons for leave covered by the FMLA are for the birth of a child, the care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition, or an employee’s own serious medical condition that keeps them from doing their job efficiently.
If your disability has rendered you unable to fully perform your job tasks, then you may be able to take time off your job under the FMLA. The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) is the state version of the FMLA. The provisions to qualify under this law mirror those of the FMLA. The provisions behind the two laws are similar as well; both grant 12 weeks of unpaid, job protected leave for covered employees for the same reasons. There are just a few small differences such as the fact that pregnancy is not covered under the CFRA because there is a separate act for pregnancy leave, and domestic partners are also covered under the CFRA, but not under the FMLA. It must be emphasized that both these acts that allow for unpaid leave must guarantee that you have your job when you return. It is illegal for your employer to not provide you your previous job after your leave has finished. So do not let your employer threaten your job security due to a disability that is out of your hands. Stay informed and get in contact with one of the best Los Angeles lawyers today.
Disability Discrimination Lawyer
There’s a lot to take into consideration when determining if you were wrongfully terminated or suspended for taking a disability leave. If you’ve identified that your disability, which is recognized by the law, needed the reasonable accommodation of an unpaid leave, and you were retaliated against by your employer in the form of being fired, then you need to speak with one of our wrongful termination lawyers. If you faced other kinds of adverse employment repercussions, a disability discrimination lawyer will help you with your case as well. Your employers have violated your rights and gone against the law. If you don’t know your rights as a disabled citizen and employee, you need to talk to one of our disability discrimination attorneys today to make sure none of your rights have been infringed upon.
Free Consultation and Zero-Fee Guarantee
The California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group wants to foster equality in all areas of work. That is why we would like to offer you a consultation free of charge. Our priority is making sure you are treated fairly in the workplace, and if not, that you seek reconciliation for your mistreatment. Our zero-fee guarantee promises you will not have to pay us unless we win your case. So giving us a call or visiting one of our offices is completely risk free. Even if you are already working a disability discrimination attorney, we’d like to give you a free second opinion. We want to give you the opportunity to work with some of the best discrimination and wrongful termination attorneys in California. So take the opportunity and get in contact with us right away!