disability

What is Required for an Employer to Reasonable Accommodate A Disabled Employee?

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In our last blog, we discussed an employer’s obligations in regards to reasonably accommodating disabling employees. As we discussed, there is a lot of confusion and unclarity regarding what these responsibilities entail and what employers can do to reasonably accommodate disabled employees.

California courts have made it clear that they are looking for evidence of a “cooperative dialogue” and good faith on the part of both parties. Barnett, 228 F.3d. at 1014; Jensen v. Wells Fargo Bank, 85 Cal. App. 4th 245, 266 (200). Further, neither side is allowed to engage in obstructionist conduct. Also, the dialogue between employers and employees includes making reasonable efforts to communicate concerns and making information available to the other party.

For example, if the employee requests a particular accommodation, the employer must give it “due consideration.” If the employer rejects the proposed accommodation, it must “initiate discussion with the employee regarding the alternative accommodations.”

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in employment cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases.

Are you or anyone you know been discriminated at work based on their disability? Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://payablaw.com/ if you have any questions regarding your rights at the workplace.

What Type of Mental Illnesses Require Accommodation by Employers?

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Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against employees who suffer from mental health issues. Mental disabilities are covered by the ADA to the same extent as physical disabilities. A physical or mental impairment will constitute a disability under the ADA if it “substantially impairs one or more major life activities,” which are broadly defined to include activities such as concentrating, thinking, learning, communicating, and reading.

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), an extensive range of mental illnesses may qualify as disabilities, including anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, major depression, and personality disorders. Since many mental health conditions occur occasionally and at irregular intervals, it is important to note that an impairment is considered a disability if it “substantially limits a major life activity” when active.

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in employment cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases.

Are you or anyone you know been discriminated at work because of his or her mental illness? Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://employmentlawyersla.com/ to learn about your rights at the workplace.

New Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination Released

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The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently issued an enforcement guidance on pregnancy discrimination. The new guidance includes significant developments in the law during the past 30 years.

The guidance sets out the fundamental requirement that an employer may not discriminate against an employee on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions and that women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions must be treated the same as other employees who are similar in their ability or inability to work. The guidance requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations “to the known limitations of otherwise qualified employees and applicants for employment.”

Also, the guidance explains how the definition of “disability” could apply to workers with impairments related to pregnancy. Although pregnancy itself is not a disability, impairments related to pregnancy can be disabilities if they “substantially limit one or more major life activities.”

Read More: http://goo.gl/iZUgrG

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in pregnancy discrimination cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases.

Are you or anyone you know been discriminated at work? Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://employmentlawyersla.com/ if you have any questions regarding your rights at the workplace.

What is Reasonable Accommodation and How Does the Process Work?

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In a two-part series, we will explain what Reasonable Accommodation is and how the process works.

Part I – What is Reasonable Accommodation?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers to not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities. It also requires that those individuals should be given reasonable accommodations to allow them to perform the essential functions of the job, as long as doing so does not create an undue hardship for the employer.

Reasonable accommodation could be any change in the work environment or in the way things are customarily done that allows an individual with a disability to enjoy equal employment opportunities. This includes changes to: the job application process, the work environment, the manner or circumstances under which the job is performed, or other areas that allow an employee with a disability to have equal benefits and privileges as other employees.

In practice, this can mean any number of things and is dependent on the specific situation for each employee. It is up to the employer to discuss options with the applicant or employee to determine what options might work.

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in disability discrimination cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, disability discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases.
Are you or anyone you know been discriminated at work based on your disability? Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://employmentlawyersla.com/ if you have any questions regarding your rights at the workplace.

Under what bases are employees protected under State or Federal law?

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State and Federal law prohibits harassment and discrimination in employment because of the following categories:

• Age
• Civil union/domestic partners
• Citizenship
• Disability/handicap (physical or mental)
• Family status
• Gender identity
• Genetic information
• Marital status
• National origin/ancestry
• Pregnancy
• Protected complaints/activity
• Protected leave
• Race/color
• Religion/creed
• Sex/gender
• Sexual orientation
• Veteran status/military status

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in employment cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases.

If you or anyone you know has been discriminated or harassed based on these protected statuses, contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://employmentlawyersla.com/

California’s DFEH Report Highlights Discrimination Trends

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The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), California’s civil rights agency, recently submitted an annual report showing trends toward filings related to disability, race and gender-based discrimination.

In 2012, there were 19,839 employment cases filed with the DFEH. The majority of the DFEH cases were for: Disability Discrimination (13,452), Race/Color Discrimination (6,990), and Sexual Harassment (6,169).

Trending in 2014 is an expected increase in discrimination cases based on gender, gender identity and gender expression. Also trending is an expected increase in cases brought under the California Family Rights Act and Pregnancy Disability Leave laws.

Read More: http://goo.gl/uvAb3h

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in employment cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases.

Are you or anyone you know been discriminated at work? Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://employmentlawyersla.com/ if you have any questions regarding your rights at the workplace.

American with Disabilities Act: Reasonable Accommodations Only Need to Be Offered Upon Request

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An important court decision recently confirmed that an employer has no duty to offer reasonable accommodations to an employee with a disability until the employee specifically requests an accommodation. That’s true even when the employer is aware of the employee’s disability.

To establish an American with Disabilities Act (ADA) claim, an employee must show that he or she:
1. Has a disability as defined by the ADA,
2. Is qualified, with or without a reasonable accommodation, to perform the functions of his job, and
3. Suffered discrimination because of his disability.

The court found that before an employee can be deemed “not qualified” for his job, the employer must take an effort to accommodate his disability. However, the employee has a duty to request a reasonable accommodation. An employer is not required to offer an accommodation, even though he knows the employee is disabled under the ADA. The court stated that “it is not the employer’s responsibility to anticipate the employee’s needs and affirmatively offer accommodation.”

In making a request for an accommodation, the employee need not utter any magic words, nor must he say that he is request a reasonable accommodation. Furthermore, the request need not be in writing. However, the employee must make clear that he wants assistance for his disability. Also, the employee must be clear that he needs an accommodation for his disability.

PRACTICAL ADVISE: If you think you may need reasonable accommodation for your disability at your workplace, let your employer know as soon as possible.

Read More: http://goo.gl/8iIsz2

Are you or anyone you know been discriminated at work? Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://employmentlawyersla.com/ if you have any questions regarding your rights at the workplace.

Is Obesity Considered a Disability?

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The short answer is yes. Recently, the American Medical Association (AMA) has declared obesity to be a disease. This has implications for employers, since obesity may now also be considered a disability in certain circumstances.

Given the broader definition of disability under the ADA Amendments Act, many persons who have been diagnosed for obesity as a disease may well fall within the definition of being currently or actually disabled. The question will be: does that person’s obesity substantially limit one or more major life functions? If the answer is yes, then the employer’s obesity may be considered a disability. Given that endocrine system function is one example that could be affected for someone who is obese, likely the answer will be yes based on this alone.

What Does it Mean for Employers if Obesity is a Disability?
One of the biggest ramifications is that the ADA will now prohibit discrimination against an applicant or employee because of his or her obesity. It will also mean that employers will be required to make reasonable accommodations to allow employees who are obese to perform essential job functions. And it will also prohibit retaliation against obese individuals requesting reasonable accommodation for obesity.

Read More: http://goo.gl/xYs9eA

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm founded by David Payab, Esq., with more than 17 years of experience in employment cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases.

Are you or anyone you know been discriminated at work? Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://employmentlawyersla.com/ if you have any questions regarding your rights at the workplace.

Associational Disability Discrimination

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Employees may now have a claim against an employer that discriminates an employee because of his or her association with a disabled person.

In a recent case, when an employee was hired, he informed the employer that he planned to donate a kidney to his physically disabled sister. When the employee learned that the Donation Protection Act (DPA) would take effect on January 1, 2011, he requested paid leave to do so. The employee received satisfactory performance reviews and posed no disciplinary problems. Just 2 days before the DPA became effective, the employee was terminated for poor performance. The employee sued the employer for discrimination on the basis of his association with his physically disabled sister. The trial court dismissed the case but the appellate court upheld the associational claim.

As the Court of Appeals noted, associational discrimination has been the subject of very little litigation. The 7th Circuit identified 3 types of associational discrimination:

1. Expense– for example, when an employee is fired because his spouse has a disability and is covered by the company’s health plan.

2. Disability by Association– for example, when an employee’s homosexual companion has HIV and the employer fears that the employee also has been infected.

3. Distraction– for example, when the employee is somewhat inattentive at work because his child has a disability that requires his attention.

PRACTICAL TIP: An employer that discriminates against an employee because of his or her association with a disabled person is liable even if the motivation is purely monetary.

Read More: http://goo.gl/cz39vw

If you or anyone you know has any questions regarding discrimination by association, Call the Law Offices of Payab & Associates at (800) 401-4466 or visit our website at: http://employmentlawyersla.com/

Prohibited Employer Actions under ADA and FEHA

If you are an employer, you should be familiar with American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and California’s Fair Housing and Employment Act (FEHA). Said acts ensure that disabled employees are not discriminated against in the workplace. So what do these two acts entail?

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Under the ADA and FEHA an employer cannot:

  • Fail to make a reasonable accommodation for someone with a disability.
  • Use qualification standards, employment tests, or other selection criteria that screens out or tends to screen out individuals with disabilities.
  • Have a policy with an adverse effect on people with disabilities, even if that was not the intent of the policy. One example is when a policy states that an employee who has an absence from work after exhausting all leave options will be terminated, without exception. This is illegal since disabled individuals may require further accommodation.
  • Retaliate against an individual because that person opposes an employer act or a practice that is unlawful.
  • Ask a job applicant whether she or he is an individual with a disability.
  • Ask a job applicant about any job-related injuries or workers’ compensation history.
  • Force an applicant to take a pre-offer medical examination or psychological examination.

Read more at: http://goo.gl/FMuc0L

Are you or anyone you know been discriminated at work? Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit EmploymentLawyersLA.com if you have any questions regarding your rights at the workplace.