Not only does the ADA offer protections for all employees, but it also requires that all employers provide reasonable accommodation for employees with disabilities, as long as these accommodations do not cause an employer undue hardship. In addition, the ADA offers protections from retaliation if an employee chooses to enforce his or her legal rights.
If you were the victim of discrimination in the workplace because you have a disability, you are entitled protect yourself. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) exists to protect all job applicants and employees from discrimination based on a disability, whether real or perceived, in every aspect of the employment process from hiring to firing, and everything in between.
How Do I Assert My Legal Rights?
How Do I File An Internal Complaint?
How Do I File A Charge Of Discrimination?
How Do I File A Discrimination Lawsuit?
If you believe you were the victim of disability discrimination in the workplace, it’s important that you address it. All employers are familiar with the ADA, but a majority don’t fully understand it or what it actually entails. Therefore, it’s a good idea to first speak with your employer.
Discuss your disability with your supervisor or HR manager and describe how it affects your ability to complete your job related duties. There’s a good chance your employer will be open to hearing you out and provide you the necessary accommodations.
Let’s consider the following example. Steve was denied a promotion for a job that requires a great deal of driving because his employer believes his wheelchair use will negatively affect his ability to travel by car. As a result of his employer’s decision, Steve meets with his supervisor and expresses that he has no problem with driving. All he needs is special equipment.
To continue with this example, Steve’s employer could allow him to use his own specially outfitted car — while reimbursing him for any costs — or his employer can make the necessary modifications to a company vehicle on his behalf. As a disabled person who is entirely capable of performing his job duties, Steve can request, and would be entitled to this reasonable accommodation.
Ideally, your employer will hear you out and provide reasonable accommodation once you’ve explained your rights. If your employer still denies your rights, you must file a formal complaint with your employer. This is important because:
Let’s say you did your part and filed a formal complaint with your employer. And nothing came of it. If your employer doesn’t resolve your complaint, your next step is to file a charge with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or California’s antidiscrimination agency. It is crucial that you first file a charge with the EEOC if you intend to preserve your right to sue for disability discrimination.
The agency will likely ask your employer to respond to your complaint and then conduct its own investigation. Depending on the circumstances, the agency may even offer to mediate or settle your case, which is rare. Typically, once they have concluded, the agency will issue you a right to sue letter. This letter will give you the right to proceed in court with your claim.
You can file a lawsuit against your employer once you have a right to sue letter. If you haven’t already consulted with an experienced disability discrimination lawyer, this is the time to do so.
An experienced disability discrimination lawyer will evaluate your claim and determine whether it is in your best interests to sue. If you decide to file a disability discrimination lawsuit, your lawyer will prepare the paperwork, gather evidence, question any witnesses, put pressure on your employer to settle, or argue your case in court if necessary.
If you have made up your mind to take action, it is important to work with an attorney that specializes in cases like yours. The disability discrimination lawyers at West Coast Employment Lawyers have extensive experience handling disability discrimination cases. We will work tirelessly to gather the facts, find and interview eyewitnesses, hire experts, and fight for your rights.
We work on a contingency basis, which means we only get attorney’s fees if we are able to recover for you. Our legal team is available 24/7 and will take care of your case from start to finish. For a free no-obligation consultation with a disabilty discrimination attorney in California, contact our office at 1-800-247-9235.
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