Jordan Gallacher is a computer expert with a degree in management. But he cannot find a job. Once prospective employers find out that he is blind they lose interest. Jordan’s disability does not impact his abilities because he works with a screen reader. But still he can’t land a job.
It’s harder for disabled applicants to find jobs and things are getting worse. The chart below from the Census Bureau shows a downward trend in employment for disabled Americans.
Once employed, disabled employees can face new challenges in the workplace. For example, disabled employees sometimes need special accommodations at work and not all companies are cooperative. Often employees are stigmatized once their disability is known and find themselves marginalized or fired. Fortunately, disabled employees in the San Francisco Bay Area are protected by powerful State and Federal anti-discrimination laws such as the California Fair Housing and Employment Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act,
Protecting Disabled Employees in the San Francisco Bay Area
If you experience discrimination in the workplace on account of your disability, call The Ottinger Firm. We have been protecting employees since 1999. We can help you understand your rights and take action to remedy the situation. The Ottinger Firm has taken on companies of all sizes across all industries. We can help you solve your problem.
How to Recognize Disability Discrimination
Disability discrimination occurs whenever a person suffers an adverse employment action on account of their disability. Common forms of adverse employment action include getting fired, demoted, or being deprived any kind of employment benefit or opportunity. It also includes the failure to hire a person due to their disability. A disabled person has the legal right to be treated the same as a non-disabled person in the workplace.
What are Reasonable Workplace Accommodations?
Jordan Gallacher, mentioned above, is a blind computer expert. He can do his job, but he needs a screen reader. The screen reader that Jordan needs is a good example of a reasonable workplace accommodation. Jordan is a lot like many other disabled people who can do their work with the help of a tool or other workplace accommodation.
A reasonable workplace accommodation can come come in many forms. Here are few examples listed below:
- Flexible work schedules that allow an employee to get medical treatment
- Telecommuting to allow a disabled employee to work from home
- Restructured job duties so certain tasks, such as lifting heavy objects, are handled by other employees
- Providing equipment to make the workplace accessible
- Providing tools such as screen readers or hearing assistance that allow the disabled person to perform their job duties
- Allowing assistance dogs in the workplace
What is a Disability under the Law?
California defines disability broadly. Under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), a disability is any physical or mental impairment that limits a major life activity such as walking, talking, working, seeing, hearing or performing regular tasks or activities. See here for a detailed explanation of what constitutes a disability from the California Department of Fair Employment & Housing.
How can a San Francisco Disability Discrimination Lawyer Help You?
A San Francisco disability discrimination lawyer can help you understand your rights and your options. Once you understand your rights, you and your lawyer can determine what steps are necessary to enforce those rights. Sometimes a simple letter to the company can solve the problem. For example, a letter and a few phone calls from your lawyer might help nudge an reluctant employer to provide a needed workplace accommodation. Or, if you have lost your job due to disability discrimination, your lawyer may be able to negotiate a financial settlement or file suit if a settlement is not possible.
Why Contact The Ottinger Firm?
Since 1999, The Ottinger Firm has focused solely on employment law. This is all we do and we know exactly how to help you. Our experience and skill in this narrow area of the law will give you the representation needed to solve your problem efficiently and fairly. The firm has the highest possible rating of 10 out of 10 by Avvo.