Discrimination in the Workplace: When to Call an Attorney

It’s never easy being told that you’re being terminated or demoted from your job, but do you know when these kinds of actions are an act of discrimination? Many people unfortunately face discrimination in the workplace. Whether an employee has let you go because of a disability, or your employer refuses to make changes to accommodate you and leaves you in a position that you can’t succeed in, disability discrimiation lawyers are here to help you. 

As an individual in the work space, you’re covered and protected by federal and state laws that strictly forbid being discriminated against by an employer due to being disabled. This applies wherever you work, whether it is in Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, or anywhere else in the United States. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, also referred to as the ADA, and the Rehabilitation Act, protection is given to employees. Additionally, in California, the Fair Employment and Housing Act, otherwise known as the FEHA, protects in a similar capacity.   

Discrimination at the workplace isn’t limited to disability, but general prejudicial treatment in the workplace. Things that may affect hiring, firing, being granted promotions, your overall salary, job assignments, training, benefits and or layoffs can be linked back to a person’s age, gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, national origin and being associated with someone in these protected characteristics, in addition to disabilities.

If an employee can perform essential job functions and require reasonable accommodations, they’re protected from losing their job and facing disability discrimination. Employees are entitled to adjustments that can assist and improve their performance in the workplace, whether that means installing a wheelchair ramp, providing specialized training and even changing job functions.

The four main types of workplace discrimination include direct discrimination, or when someone is directly treated lesser than or worse than another person because of a protected characteristic. Indirect discrimination is typically less obvious than direct discrimination, but occurs when there’s some kind of measure put into place that applies to everyone, but could put those with a specific protected characteristic at a disadvantage. The best way to visualize this is when an employer makes something a part of the job that someone who is disadvantaged by a disability clearly cannot perform, therefore making them incapable of doing this specific job function.

Another main type of workplace discrimination is outright harassment, or unwanted conduct that is related to a protected characteristic. This kind of harassment has the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them.

And the last main type of workplace discrimination is retaliation, or when an employee suffers a detriment because they have done or allegedly made an allegation of discrimination, supported a complaint of discrimination, or have done anything for the purposes of or in connection with bringing or supporting a claimin front of an employment tribunal like the Fair Employment and Housing Department in California, among other things.

Attorneys in the disability discrimination space specialize in representing victims who have been fired, punished or demoted by their company or employer. If you’ve ever been in a position where you’ve felt discriminated against in the workplace, a disability discrimination lawyer can help you and you may be entitled to compensation and justice.