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Costanzo Law Firm, APC Costanzo Law Firm APC
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San Jose Disability Discrimination Lawyer

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one out of every four people in the United States has some form of disability. Unfortunately, Americans with disabilities face challenges in obtaining and maintaining employment. The rate of employment for these individuals is far lower than that of non-disabled individuals. In many cases, disabled workers are fully capable of performing the jobs for which they are pursuing but face hurdles created by discrimination at the hands of employers or potential employers.

Californians with disabilities are protected by state and federal law protections against discrimination in the workplace. For disabled workers, understanding your rights can make you a more empowered individual and can improve your ability to demand fair treatment by your employer or potential employers. If you are facing discrimination from a potential employer or your current employer, contact the Costanzo Law Firm in San Jose. Our dedicated employment law attorneys are here to protect your rights. Call us at 408-993-8493 to speak to a compassionate and experienced San Jose disability discrimination lawyer today.

Types of Protected Disabilities in San Jose

Mobility disabilities, which involve severe challenges walking or ascending stairs, are the most common disabilities in America, but other disabilities include cognition, hearing impairment, and vision impairment. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), disabilities are defined as physical and mental impairments that substantially limit at least one major life activity. In California, disabilities include any impairment that causes one or more major life activities to be difficult. The Fair Employment and Housing Act dictates certain accommodations for disabled employees and individuals with certain medical conditions.

Types of Discrimination in San Jose Workplaces

Employees are protected from illegal discrimination at the hands of an employer. However, it is important to note that employers may take actions that an employee might not like but that do not meet the level of discrimination. Discrimination takes place when an employer makes an important decision about an employee’s work status based on that employee’s membership in a protected class, including disabled workers.

If a prospective employer denied you a job based on your disability, then that employer might be in violation of the law. If you work for a company that denied you a promotion, raise, or bonus based on your disability, this is a form of discrimination. Additionally, if your employer terminated your position, refused to offer you certain training and education opportunities available to other workers, or terminated your employment based on your disability, then that employer likely failed to act in a fair and equitable manner and might be liable for discriminating against you.

Employers might claim an employee is not able to perform his or her job because of a disability. But under the ADA, the employee is entitled to certain accommodations from the employer that would enable the employee to do the job. If you believe that your employer illegally discriminated against you at work, contact a San Jose employment law attorney today.

What Types of Accommodations Must my Employer Provide?

Employers must work with employees to determine job-related limitations caused by a disabled employee’s disability, and together, the employee and employer should come up with accommodations and strategies for mitigating the impact of the disability on the employee’s ability to perform his or her job. The employer is only required to provide reasonable accommodations that do not create an undue hardship on the employer.

Reasonable accommodations can include assistance from mechanical or electronic devices, making facilities more accessible, modifying the job duties, and altering or relocating the workspace. Accommodations that are too expensive might not be considered reasonable. In part, the size of the business could play a factor in determining the reasonableness of accommodations.

How to Respond to Workplace Disability Discrimination

If your employer discriminated against you in the workplace, you have the right to pursue a claim against your employer. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission handles federal discrimination claims and applies to any business with a minimum of fifteen employees. If you wish to pursue a claim against your employer, the first step is to file with the EEOC. Once the EEOC investigates the claim, they can take legal action directly against the employer. If they don’t, they should issue you a “right to sue” letter allowing you to proceed on your own. Before you can file a federal lawsuit, you must receive a letter from the EEOC stating that you have the right to file a lawsuit. Remember that there are time limits on how long after an act of discrimination you can file your claim.

California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) applies the state’s anti-discrimination law, the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), to a wider range of employers. Any business with five or more employees is subject to the FEHA. The process of filing a claim with the DFEH is similar to that of the EEOC in that you must file with the department first and obtain a “right to sue” letter before taking your employer to court. In many cases, filing a claim in California state court rather than in federal court will benefit the employee. The federal law has certain protections and defenses that help protect employers that are not permitted in California state court, and California has a broader definition of employers covered by the law. To develop the best strategy for pursuing your claim, you will need advice from an experienced San Jose employment law attorney.

Call the Costanzo Law Firm Today

The attorneys at the Costanzo Law Firm represent San Jose’s employees in disability discrimination and other employment discrimination claims. We understand how frustrating it can be to face workplace discrimination that impacts your ability to support yourself and your loved ones. Call us today at 408-993-8493 to speak with one of our dedicated lawyers.

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