Disability Discrimination In The Workplace - A Guide For California Employees

Updated: Jul 24, 2020

Tips From Pre-Screneed Los Angeles Employment Lawyers

Workplace disability discrimination occurs when a company fires or demotes an employee because of his or her disability, even when the employee can do the job like any other employee. It can also occur when an employee requests a reasonable accommodation so that they can do the job properly and the request is denied.

Discrimination against disabled workers in California is very common. This guide provides you, the employee, with a basic knowledge of your legal rights, and give you a roadmap of what to do if you feel you are being discriminated against at your job because of your disability.

Each disability claim is different so the information on this page should not be a substitute for discussing your case in more detail with a California employment discrimination lawyer or law firm.

California’s laws make it illegal for companies to fire a disabled employee if they are able to do perform their job. Companies are not allowed to terminate a disabled employee even if they are unable to do the essential functions of their job, but could if provided with a reasonable accommodations.

Employment discrimination laws against disabled employees can be found in the California Fair Employment & Housing Act (“FEHA”) § 12940. Your Los Angeles Employment Lawyer will be able to assess your case and determine what laws were violated in your case.

FEHA offers more protection to California’s employees than the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). It offers a wider protection and it also applies to companies with less employees. Also, FEHA is stronger than Title VII, which caps employee’s damages.

California’s laws are employee friendly and offer broader protection to employees who experience disability discrimination in the workplace.

What's Considered a Disability Under California Law?

California’s disability discrimination laws define “disabilities” into three categories: physical disability, mental disability, and medical conditions. It's important to speak to a Los Angeles Employment Lawyer with experience in disability discrimination because what constitutes a disability is sometimes complicated and a difficult to define for non-lawyers.

Physical disability: any physiological disease, disorder, condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss that” affects one or more body systems and limits a major life activity. Limiting “a major life activity” means that it “makes the achievement of the major life activity difficult.”

Mental disability: any mental or psychological disorder or condition, such as intellectual disability, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, or specific learning disabilities, that limits a major life activity.

Medical condition: any health impairment related to or associated with a diagnosis of cancer or a record or history of cancer, or genetic characteristics.

Genetic characteristics are when an individual has a gene or inherited characteristic that is associated with a statistically increased risk of the development of a disease or condition.

What are Reasonable Accommodations?

It is illegal for employers in California “to refuse to make reasonable accommodation for the known disability of an employee.” The only exception to this rule is if the accommodation will result in undue hardship to the business’ operation.

The main point about "reasonable accommodation" is that the employee must request it. If you do not request the accommodation, the company will not be liable for not providing it to you. It is also illegal for an employer in California to retaliate against the employee for requesting reasonable accommodations.

The Interactive Process

Employers in California must also work with disabled employees to find a reasonable accommodation. This is known as the “interactive process” and can be found in California Government Code 12940(n).

It is illegal for the employer to “fail to engage in a timely manner, in good faith, interactive process with the employee to determine effective reasonable accommodations, if any, in response to a request for reasonable accommodation by an employee with a known physical or mental disability or known medical condition.

After your Los Angeles Employment Lawyer and you have decided on a plan of action, they will begin to collect the documents and evidence you have including a timeline of events, any SMS messages, emails or documented interactions, and your employee file if it's available.

At that point, your attorney will file your lawsuit with the court by creating and submitting a “complaint.” This complaint contains some basic facts of the case, describing who was negligent, the facts surrounding your claim, and the outcome.

Once the complaint has been filed, your disability discrimination attorneys have a time limit to “serve” your employer with the complaint. Now, your employer has to respond to the complaint. Your employer will probably try to get the case thrown out around by refusing responsibility, the discovery process kicks off.

The discovery process is when your disability discrimination attorneys and the opposing counsel exchange evidence. There are questions chosen by your attorneys, questions required to be answered by the state (form interrogatories), a request by the attorneys for the other party to admit certain facts, and requests for production of supporting documentation.

This is also the time in when depositions are taken which are interviews, under oath, that your attorney will accompany you to.

After discovery, your disability discrimination attorney will have a good feeling where your case stands, this is when most settlements occur. Both attorneys will be involved in employment mediation and mandatory settlement conferences with a judge to see if a pre-trial resolution is feasible. If this fails, your case will go to trial.

How Much Is Your Disability Discrimination Lawsuit Worth?

Your Los Angeles Employment Lawyer will be able to help you get compensated for the wages that you would have made if you had not been subjected to disability discrimination. Another form of compensation that you may be able to recover from your disability discrimination in the workplace case is pain and suffering.

The Statute of Limitations

You have one year from the date you were terminated to acquire a right-to-sue letter.

Usually, your attorney will get this for you, but if you already have one be sure to let your attorney as soon as possible. Upon receiving a right-to-sue letter, you have one year to file your case in court.

These timelines are different for public entities. In those cases, the statute of limitations may be six months. For this reason, it is important that you hire a pre-screened Los Angeles Employment Lawyer as soon as possible.

Related articles:


California State Bar Certified Lawyer Referral And Information Service

1000Attorneys.com is a California Bar Certified and approved Lawyer Referral and Information Service.


Our objective is that you receive the best comprehensive, high-quality legal representation while holding California attorneys to the highest standards of professional conduct.

Why Lawyer Referrals Matter












The California State Bar investigates in average 16,000 complaints of professional misconduct by attorneys every year.

We conduct due diligence by researching and recommending the best local attorney. 


We verify attorneys are in good standing and have the required experience in the type of law related to your legal issue. 


Our History 


Since 2005, we assist people who need legal representation but whose ability to locate reputable California Lawyers is frustrated by unreliable law firm marketing of self-promoting lawyers and biased legal advertising.


Members of the public have turned to the 1000Attorneys.com as a reliable legal resource for more than 15 years to locate reputable California lawyers.

How the LRS Works 

Via the 1000Attorneys.com portal, the public will find a competent California attorney. Lawyer referrals are available in English and Spanish.


Clients are referred to a local attorney who is competent to handle the case after having some fundamental knowledge about their legal issue. A free 30 minute consultation with the attorney will be offered to each referred client. 

Hundreds of articles on common legal issues, in English and Spanish, can also be obtained by the public via our blog. These pieces of information address a wide variety of common legal issues in Southern California.

A LRS representative will follow up via email with the client after receiving a referral for quality management purposes, or to obtain  the status of your case. 

About lawyers from our network

Lawyers in our network are insured, in good standing with the California State Bar and have substantial experience in their area of practice.


Additionally, each LRS attorney has shown that he or she has a tracking record of ethics, professional responsibility and has met several requirements for membership.


Attorneys are available in most areas of law throughout Southern California. Every lawyer in or network has been vetted for:

  • Credentials

  • Education

  • Communication skills

  • Performance

  • Client reviews

Additionally, attorneys are always monitored, insured and in good standing with the California State Bar. 

How to find the best lawyer for your legal case: 

1. The fastest way to have your legal issue reviewed by one of our attorneys is to send your details online. Your information will go directly to our 24 hour legal department. You will get a reply via email within 15 minutes. 

2. You may also inquire about your legal issue via chat where you can get more information related to different areas of law that apply to your case.

3. By calling our lawyer referral hotline 661-310-7999. Our agents are not attorneys and cannot provide legal advise. Due to high call volumes, it's highly recommend that you use option # 1 above. 

>Popular Articles


Who is the best lawyer in California?


Everything you need to know about California workers compensation claims (2021 Guide For Employees)


Gender discrimination in the workplace


How do I prove age discrimination at work?


Disability discrimination in the workplace, a guide for employees


Discrimination against pregnant employees, how to report it

Sexual harassment at work and the #metoo movement

California employee rights 2021

Wrongful termination laws 2021

Employment lawyer referrals

Genetic information discrimination

Filing a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

National origin discrimination

Religious discrimination at work

How to win a wage claim

What is constructive termination


Qualities of a great labor lawyer

Wrongful termination examples

How to report your employer to the labor board

Why working with a California workers compensation lawyer makes sense

Who is the best lawyer in California?


Clients lawyers want to avoid


Is a bigger personal injury law firm better?


Why is difficult to find pro bono lawyers in California?


How do I find the top personal injury law firms in California?


Are there any good lawyers in Los Angeles?

Motorcycle accident laws in California


California workers compensation

California rideshare accidents


Construction accidents in LA


Car accidents in Los Angeles


Suffered from a brain injury?

California personal injury laws 2021

Pain and suffering settlements

>California Attorney Discipline


Personal injury attorney arrested after stealing millions in settlements from clients


How to check if a lawyer is licensed in California?


Where do I learn more about California attorney discipline?


Personal injury lawyer arrested after killing a woman while driving under the influence


FREE Case Review

Most cases are reviewed within 15 minutes. We are open 24/7


California Bar Certified

Lawyer Referral Service

-FREE Case Review In 15 Minutes Or Less-

Since 2005 our team has been working closely with the State Bar of California (certification # 0128) by providing unbiased and impartial referrals to ethical California lawyers.

We conduct due diligence by researching, vetting and recommending the best local attorney with proven experience in the type of law needed for your legal issue.

24/7 CHAT🚀




California State Bar Certified

Lawyer Referral Service

California Attorney Search Hotline


  • Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney
  • Employment Lawyer Los Angeles
  • Workers Compensation Lawyer Los Angeles
  • Los Angeles Divorce Lawyer
  • Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer
  • Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney
  • Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer

Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission is prohibited. Service provided by 1000Attorneys.com, a State Bar Certified Attorney Referral and Information Service ( Certification # 0128 ).    Disclaimer: All Lawyer Referrals are unbiased and impartial. This service is not paid lawyer advertising nor is the service owned or operated by lawyers receiving referrals. Members of our network must meet minimal requirements set forth by the service and the CA State Bar. Information provided in this website is not legal advice and no attorney-client relationship if formed by use of this website. 1000Attorneys.com | California Lawyer Referral and Information Service | Los Angeles, California | info@1000attorneys.com | 661-310-7999 | Locations: Beverly HillsLos AngelesLong BeachGlendaleSanta ClaritaLancasterPalmdalePomonaTorrance , PasadenaEl MonteDowneyInglewoodWest CovinaNorwalkBurbankNewport BeachLaguna BeachSanta MonicaAnaheimSanta AnaIrvine, and San Diego

Website & Marketing Management by

🚀 LawyerLeadMachine.com