Disability Discrimination Attorney

Expert Disability Discrimination Lawyers

Disability Discrimination Lawyer 

If you believe that your employer has made harmful business-related decisions based on your disability, you may be entitled to file a disability discrimination claim against them to recover damages.

At West Coast Employment Lawyers, our disability discrimination lawyers are available 24/7 to assess your case. We are committed to protect your legal rights and recover all avenues of compensation for any form of disability discrimination that was directed towards you by your employer. Our priority is to always ensure we serve justice to each client who has faced unfair treatment in the workplace.

To schedule a free case evaluation with one of our top-rated disability discrimination lawyers, we welcome you to contact us by calling 213-927-3700, emailing [email protected], or completing our online contact form located on the bottom of the page. 

What Is Disability Discrimination?

Disability discrimination may occur when an employer is treating an employee unfairly compared to others due to their disability. Regardless of whether your disability may appear to be visible or invisible, your employer should not make any unnecessary decisions that go against California’s labor laws. Some common types of disability discrimination include the following:

  • Your employer is discriminating against you because of your physical or mental disability in terms of employment by either firing, hiring, or demoting you.
  • Asking personal questions about your medical history.
  • Enforcing you to take exams whereas others are not required to do so. 
  • Refusing to offer reasonable accommodations to you without providing a legitimate reason.
  • Harassing or teasing you due to your disability.
  • Intentionally having a work environment that is only suitable to employees who do not have a disability.

Labor and Employment Cases That Involve Disability Discrimination

Disability discrimination can be found in many types of labor and employment cases. Below is a list of cases that have often been tied to or connected with disability discrimination.

Pregnancy Discrimination

A pregnant employee may develop some form of disability that may prevent her from completing tasks she was capable of doing prior to her pregnancy. In this case, the employer will need to give her reasonable accommodations as long as it does not create undue hardship. This may also apply if the employee has a disability after childbirth. 

An employer is expected to treat the employee similarly to how they would with any other disabled employee and grant an accommodation. Pregnancy, childbirth, and other pregnancy-related medical conditions should be treated on an equal basis with other medical conditions or short-term disabilities. 

If an employer refuses to offer reasonable accommodation, it could be considered as disability discrimination. However, if the employer can prove that the reasonable accommodation is too expensive to cover or difficult to maintain, they are not obligated to grant it. 

Wrongful Termination 

Below are some instances where an employee has been wrongfully terminated in the workplace for having a disability.

You were fired after:

  • Letting your employer know about your disability.
  • Requesting reasonable accommodation.
  • Your employer made the assumption that you were incapable of helping the company grow due to your disability.
  • You filed a complaint to the Human Resources (HR) department, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), or the Civil Rights Department (CRD)
  • You asked to get time off because of your disability.
  • Your employer started to form stereotypes about your disability, which ultimately convinced them to let you go. 

If you experienced any of the above, you may be entitled to file a wrongful termination claim against your employer to recover damages. 

Workplace Retaliation 

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), an employer is prohibited from retaliating against an applicant or employee who has a disability. 

If you are dealing with an employer who is retaliating against you because you are using your legal rights as a disabled employee, you may be entitled to file a complaint indicating that you were faced with an adverse employment action by your employer for engaging or participating in protected activity. Examples of protected activity include the following:

  • Asking for reasonable accommodation.
  • Reporting disability discrimination to your Human Resources (HR) department.
  • Filing a charge with the CRD or EEOC.
  • Filing a lawsuit against your employer.
  • Engaging in a disability discrimination lawsuit as witness.

Types of Disability Discrimination in the Workplace

Disability discrimination comes in several forms, including the following: direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, harassment, and refusing reasonable accommodation. 

Direct Discrimination

Direct discrimination may occur when a disabled employee is treated far worse than someone else in a similar position due to their condition. For instance, an employee was not offered a promotion due to their disability whereas someone who has contributed far less effort to the company was qualified to get one. 

Indirect Discrimination

Indirect discrimination happens when an established policy applies to all employees in the same way, but has a bad effect on disabled employees in particular. 

For instance, a company only hires employees who have a driver’s license, however, having one has no connection or tie to the job position itself. This can directly affect those who have a physical or mental disability that prevents them from operating a vehicle.


Harassment can occur when an employer teases or taunts an employee due to their disability. 

Refusing to Make Reasonable Accommodations

An employer is given the responsibility of granting reasonable accommodation to an employee with a disability as long as it does not create undue hardship. However, if the employer refuses to provide the accommodation and does not have a legitimate reasoning behind their decision, it could be considered as disability discrimination. 

Is an Employer Required to Grant Reasonable Accommodation to a Disabled Employee?

If an employee requests reasonable accommodation, an employer should grant it unless it is difficult to maintain or compensate for. An employee who is interested in asking for an accommodation must mention the type of adjustment or change needed that will allow them to perform tasks without facing any complications. 

The employee could also have a family member, health expert, or rehabilitation counselor request reasonable accommodation on their behalf. If any issues arise when requesting a reasonable accommodation, you could work it out with your employer to determine what alternatives would benefit both parties. 

What Laws Protect Me Against Disability Discrimination?

California established labor and employment laws to protect employees from facing disability discrimination in the workplace. Below are detailed descriptions of each of those laws and how they are enforced.

The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)

The ADA restricts employers from discriminating against employees who are impaired. If an employer is making employment-decisions that directly and intentionally harm a disabled employee, they will be in violation of this law. 

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973

The Rehabilitation Act restricts any form of disability discrimination in programs created and funded by the federal government. It protects against disability discrimination in federal employment and in the labor practices of federal contractors. It is also mandatory for federal electronic and information technology to be attainable for those who have a disability.

The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA)

The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) was established to protect employees from facing any form of discrimination, including disability discrimination. This law applies to companies with five or more employees.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Title VII prohibits employers from mistreating an employee because of their disability. A company must have 15 or more employees for this law to take effect. 

Where Can These Disability Discrimination Laws Be Applied?

These disability discrimination laws apply to:

  • Private employers,
  • Employment agencies,
  • State governments,
  • Local governments,
  • Labor organizations, or
  • Labor management committees.

What Qualifications Are Needed to Be Protected Under the Americans With Disabilities Act?

To receive protection from the ADA, you will need to be diagnosed with a temporary or permanent disability. According to the ADA, an employee who is disabled is defined as someone who “has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment.”

Can an Employer Refuse to Hire an Applicant Who Has a Disability?

Under the ADA, it is illegal for an employer to refuse to hire an applicant due to their disability. Stereotypical assumptions about disabled people often lead employers into believing that an applicant would not have the abilities needed to deliver good work performance without being given the chance to prove themselves. 

If the applicant has the skills and requirements the company is looking for, the employer should consider hiring them for the role. It is suggested that reasonable accommodation should be granted if a task may be too complicated to handle.

Can You Be Asked About Your Disability During a Job Interview?

Your employer cannot ask you specific questions about your disability, such as the severity of its condition or how you were diagnosed. However, they can ask what tasks you are capable of doing with or without reasonable accommodation. 

For instance, the job you are applying for will require you to stand for 8 hours a day. Your employer will want to know if you are physically capable enough to stand for such a long period of time, and may ask whether your disability will allow you to fulfill that requirement. 

How Do You Report Disability Discrimination?

If you believe that your employer is committing disability discrimination, you should speak to your Human Resources (HR) department. They will open an investigation to assess the situation. However, if they do not resolve the issue, you may seek additional assistance by filing a complaint with the CRD or EEOC. 

Filing a Complaint With the Civil Rights Department (CRD)

You may file the complaint online by submitting your report to the CRD website, mail the ADA Complaint Form to the U.S. Department of Justice, or fax over the ADA Complaint Form. It may take up to three months to get a response. Once the complaint has been reviewed, an investigation will take place. An investigator or lawyer will contact you to ask for additional information.

Filing a Complaint With the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

charge of discrimination must be completed in order for you to take legal action against your employer for disability discrimination. You may complete a charge of discrimination in more than one way. This includes:

  • Submitting an inquiry through the EEOC portal and scheduling an appointment,
  • Visiting an in-person EEOC office to schedule an appointment and file a charge of discrimination, 
  • Filing a charge through mail by including your contact information, workplace details, description of the disability discrimination, and your signature, or 
  • Speaking to an EEOC representative on the phone to learn whether your case is covered by California’s labor and employment laws and how to file a charge of discrimination.

Once the EEOC has reviewed your charge of discrimination, they will initiate an investigation and share their findings. Your case may either be dismissed if you did not provide enough evidence to support your claim or you may be awarded remedies.

What Damages Are Available in a Disability Discrimination Claim?

If your disability discrimination case has settled in your favor, you may recover damages, such as compensatory damages and/or punitive damages. This includes the following:

  • Back pay, 
  • Front pay,
  • Loss of Employment Benefits,
  • Out-of-pocket expenses,
  • Emotional distress, 
  • Court fees,
  • Attorney’s fees,
  • Expert witness fees, or 
  • Punitive damages (if you can prove that your employer intentionally or maliciously discriminated against you). 

There are limits to the amount of compensatory damages and/or punitive damages awarded to a victim of disability discrimination. The limit will vary based on the size of the company.

  • Limit of $50,000: Companies with 15-100 employees.
  • Limit of $100,000: Companies with 101-200 employees.
  • Limit of $200,000: Companies with 201-500 employees.
  • Limit of $300,000: Companies with over 500 employees.

To better your likelihood of winning a favorable settlement, you should hire a disability discrimination lawyer to represent you. They will defend your legal rights, help you gather strong evidence, recover compensation, and represent you in court if your case heads to trial. 

West Coast Employment Lawyers Is Here to Help

At West Coast Employment Lawyers, our disability discrimination lawyers are available 24/7 to evaluate your case. We will aggressively pursue the best possible outcome to ensure you are given the compensation you are entitled to. 

We run on a contingency-fee basis, meaning that our services are free until we settle your case. To schedule a meeting with our team, you may contact us by calling 213-927-3700, emailing [email protected], or completing our quick contact form located on the bottom of the page. 

Get A Free Consultation


This firm was extremely professional! The took over the entire process for us, from beginning to end… I'm not sure what I was expecting but they were fantastic. They helped us make the right decisions and got us great settlements. My mom doesn't have a yelp account but trust me, I speak for both of us when I say I highly recommend their services.


Neama and Allen are awesome lawyers and handled my case as if it was their own. If you are searching for attentive, aggressive, and compassionate lawyers, this is the law firm you need to go with! Their entire team is so professional and never had me questioning their work…Thank you to everyone who helped me get through this tough time of my life.


I want to give a huge THANK YOU to the whole West Coast Employment Lawyers team for all your attention, help, support, dedication, professionalism, and RESULTS... you guys made the entire experience from start to finish easy, simple, and confusion free. I will recommend you guys to anyone I know that needs a lawyer.