Disabled people may have some health limitations but it does not mean that they can no longer accomplish substantial gainful work. People with disability may be regarded as great contributors in the workforce because of their skills and knowledge in doing the job done. Unfortunately, certain employers discriminate against their rights as individuals and as employees.
In accordance with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employers with 15 or more workers are required not to discriminate against qualified applicants and employees who have physical or mental disability.
Aside from ADA, disabled people in California are also protected by Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). Under this Act, employers with five or more employees are prohibited from discriminating against qualified disabled applicants and workers. FEHA protects employees with various types of disabilities, such as HIV, AIDS, cancer, and genetics-related ailments. The Act does not protect employees or applicants with sexual deviancies, kleptomania, and illegal substance dependence.
Both ADA and FEHA request employers to provide reasonable accommodation to applicants and employees who are fit to do perform work.
Under FEHA, an employment decision based on any of the following cannot be considered as discriminatory act:
- If an employee is unable to do work functions and no reasonable accommodation is available that would help him or her to do work duties
- If continuing work would harm the employee or others and no reasonable accommodation is present that would remove or reduce the danger
Employers must adhere with the provisions set by ADA and FEHA; otherwise, they face legal charges. Workplace discrimination victims in California have the right to file formal complaint with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). Getting legal help from an employment attorney is not required but is strongly advised.