Disability Discrimination Attorneys Beverly Hills & Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Mehtani Law Offices regularly represents employees in cases involving disability discrimination, harassment and retaliation. The firm has handled disability cases in both state and federal court, and brought claims under both state and federal law, including under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (the “FEHA”) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended (“Title VII”).
DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION IN BEVERLY HILLS & RANCHO CUCAMONGA
To bring a disability discrimination claim under California law, an employee must basically show that (i) the employee suffered an “adverse employment action” by his or her employer; (ii) that a “substantial motivating factor” for such action was the employee’s disability; and (iii) that the employee was harmed by the employer’s conduct.
As explained by the Judicial Council of California Jury Instructions, “’Adverse employment actions’ are not limited to ultimate actions such as termination or demotion. There is an adverse employment action if [name of defendant] has taken an action or engaged in a course or pattern of conduct that, taken as a whole, materially and adversely affected the terms, conditions, or privileges of [name of plaintiff]’s employment. An adverse employment action includes conduct that is reasonably likely to impair a reasonable employee’s job performance or prospects for advancement or promotion. However, minor or trivial actions or conduct that is not reasonably likely to do more than anger or upset an employee cannot constitute an adverse employment action.”
A “substantial motivating reason” is a reason that actually contributed to the applicable adverse employment action. While it must be more than a remote or trivial reason, it need not be the only reason motivating the applicable adverse employment action.
To bring a disability discrimination under Federal Law, the standards are similar but there are some differences. You should consult an employment attorney to discuss the differences and determine whether bringing state and/or federal gender discrimination claims makes sense in your particular situation.
Importantly, in order to a condition to be deemed a “disability” under California law, the condition must “impair” a “major life function”. The standard is a bit more stringent under Federal law.
DISABILITY HARASSMENT IN BEVERLY HILLS & RANCHO CUCAMONGA
Disability harassment claims under California law require a showing that (i) the employee suffered either “severe” or “pervasive” mistreatment by another employee or group of employees; (ii) that a “substantial motivating reason” for the mistreatment is due to the employee’s disability; and (iii) that the employee was harmed by the employer’s conduct.
Importantly, there has to be a “nexus” or connection between the mistreatment and the employee’s disability. In other words, it is not enough to merely show that you had a disability and were mistreated; instead, you need to show that a “substantial motivating reason” for the mistreatment was your disability.
Mehtani Law Offices attorneys regularly litigate disability harassment cases. What we typically look for is direct or circumstantial evidence of disability harassment. For example, inappropriate or mean comments about an employee’s disability by a supervisor repeatedly on a daily basis over a period of time could be deemed harassment, depending on all of the facts and circumstances.
Harassment claims can often be highly particularized and you should consult with an attorney to determine whether you indeed have a harassment claim. Sometimes the conduct may be inappropriate or unprofessional but does not rise to the level of legal harassment. Other times the situation is quite clear, and other times it is gray. The attorneys at our Firm can review the specific facts of your situation and analyze whether they believe you have a harassment case.
DISABILITY RETALIATION IN BEVERLY HILLS & RANCHO CUCAMONGA
To bring a case for disability retaliation under California law, an employee must basically show that (i) the employee suffered an “adverse employment action” by his or her employer; (ii) that a “substantial motivating reason” for such adverse employment action was because the employee engaged in protected activity by protesting or refusing to participate in disability discrimination or other illegal conduct related to employees’ disability; and (iii) that the employee was harmed by the employer’s conduct.
Importantly, people often claim that they are being retaliated against but cannot evidence an actual “adverse employment action”. But without an adverse employment action, the employee cannot prove a case of retaliation.