In California, can my employer fire me because of my disability?



In California, can my employer fire me because of my disability?

No. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, employers cannot discriminate based on an employee’s disability. The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) protects disabled workers.

California defines disability as any physical or mental impairment that limits how a person performs a major life activity—which includes doing their normal job duties. Other major life activities include walking, sleeping, hearing, seeing, working, breathing, thinking, learning or the operation of major bodily functions.

Employers are required to make reasonable accommodations to help disabled employees perform the necessary tasks of their jobs. The following are some examples of reasonable accommodations:

  • Modified tools or other work equipment, such as an ergonomic desk or voice-activated software;
  • Allowing an extended medical leave;
  • Changing the physical layout of the workplace;
  • Installing a ramp so employees can more easily access the restroom;
  • Making necessary training material available in Braille or large-print text;
  • Part-time schedule or work from home;
  • As a last resort, transferring an employee to an open position;

This list is not complete as there are countless disabilities and conditions, and various ways to accommodate them.

Employers cannot take any adverse employment action against an employee based on their disability. This includes laying off or firing an employee. However, employers are not prohibited from firing a disabled employee for a legitimate reason. If you suspect that your disability or medical leave may have been a reason for your termination, then contact a skilled employment lawyer.

Other Disability and Medical Leave FAQs:

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This law firm was the only one to answer the phone out of the 15-20 law firms that I called that day. I had a wrongful termination case and Bryan really took the time to listen and understand what happened in my situation, and he knows the law to a T. – Shanic M.

I was owed wages and overtime and my employer refused to pay me. So I hired them to file a lawsuit. Bryan easily understood my very complicated case and I am happy with the results. – Ebi Z.

I didn’t have to pay anything, the firm took the whole risk of managing the case. Through the 14 months, Bryan always kept me updated, was very responsive and patient to questions I had. We achieved a resolution out of court in my favor, making me even happier about the experience. – Peter S.

I can honestly say that my experience with Bryan was all the way positive from day one… We had very high expectations about our case and in the end we got what we hoped for. – Roger J.

I won my trial and I got more than I expected. Everyone in the office is so nice and helpful. Even after everything was finished I could call a few weeks after and ask questions to make sure I was protected and they are more than helpful. – Husain N.

I never had to pay Bryan anything up front, nor was ever pressured to settle early. We ended up settling morning of the trial. Bryan is a really sharp, aggressive, seasoned attorney and knew the law inside and out about whistleblower cases. – Kyle B.