disabled worker

Disability Discrimination Basics

If you are injured, ill, or impaired, and you believe your employer is treating you unfairly because of your condition, the Rankin Law Firm has your back. We help disabled employees in California seek justice when they are faced with discrimination. 

Although it may sound harsh, the first things we investigate when someone comes to us complaining of disability discrimination in the workplace is:

1. Is the victim’s condition a disability? 

2. Is what is happening to the victim discrimination? 

The point of us asking these questions is not to insult you, or minimize what is happening to you. We ask these basic questions so we can figure out the best way to advocate for you. 

What Is Considered A Disability? 

Not every injury, illness, or impairment is considered a disability. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a person is not considered disabled unless he or she:

(1) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, 

(2) has a record of such an impairment, or 

(3) is regarded as having such an impairment.

Let’s break this down. 

A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities sounds straightforward. However, there are strict rules that apply when determining if the limits someone faces are “substantial” and what counts as a “major life activity.” At the Rankin Law Firm, we help our clients lay out the facts that prove they meet this criterion.

The next criteria, “has a record of such an impairment,” is also important. It may be visually obvious to anyone who sees you that you are impaired, but the law requires you to have official documentation of your impairment. This typically means you need to get your medical files in order, which is something the Rankin Law team can help you with. 

The second criteria there has an “or” at the end, not an “and.” That “or” means medical documentation is not required in all cases. The Rankin Law team can advise you if that “or” applies to you. 

Is What Is Happening Discrimination? 

The next step is figuring out if what is happening to you is considered discrimination. Unfortunately, there is no law against having a boss that is a jerk or having coworkers that treat you poorly. 

The ADA prohibits employers from making employment decisions (e.g. hiring, firing, compensating, promoting, training, benefits, or any other condition of employment) based on an individual’s disability. 

The law also requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to disabled workers, such as providing special equipment and/or modifying work schedules or job assignments. The law punishes employers who retaliate against employees for seeking accommodation.

The Road To Your Employment Rights Starts Here

If you believe your California employer is discriminating against you because of a disability, the Rankin Law Firm is here for you. Please contact our office today to share your story, and help us figure out if there are legal actions we can take to help you.