People know California for its many laws and rules that protect workers at work. Some of the most important and thorough laws in the state that rescue workers are about disability discrimination. Employers in California must follow five primary rules about disability discrimination: the Fair Employment and Housing Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. This article will summarize each law and explain how they protect disabled workers in California.
What is discrimination based on a disability?
Disability discrimination in the workplace is a form of illegal employment discrimination that happens when an employee or job applicant is mistreated because of a physical or mental disability. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) says that discrimination against people with disabilities can include:
- Not hiring someone because they have a disability. -Firing someone because the individual has a disability.
- Treating someone with a disability differently than other employees because of the disability.
- Harassing an employee because of their disability.
- Not giving an employee reasonable accommodations would make it easier to move around.
How Does Discrimination Base on Disability at Work Affect the Victim?
Discrimination against people with disabilities at work is a big problem in California. A UCLA Labor Center study found that people with disabilities are more likely to be unemployed and make less money than people without disabilities.
The study also found that people with disabilities are more likely to be mistreated and be bothered at work. Almost 60% of workers with disabilities said they had been poorly treated at work somehow.
These results show how important it is to protect the rights of disabled workers. Employers must make reasonable adjustments so that these workers have the same chances of getting a job and can earn a fair wage.
Five laws protect people with disabilities from being mistreated at work.
Fair Housing and Employment Act
The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) is a law in California that makes it illegal to mistreat people at work or in a home. The FEHA covers businesses with five or more workers, landlords with four or more units, and labor groups with 25 or more members.
The FEHA protects employees and tenants from being mistreated because of their race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age, or marital status. It also says that harassment based on these things is not allowed.
Act for People with Disabilities
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a law that protects the civil rights of people with disabilities. It got signed into law in 1990. The ADA says that people with disabilities can’t be mistreated in any part of public life. It includes jobs, schools, public transportation, and access to public services and accommodations.
Act on Rehabilitation
The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 says that programs and activities that get federal money can’t be unfair to people with disabilities. The act states that reasonable changes must be made so that people with disabilities have the same chance to take part in programs and activities.
The Act on Family and Medical Leave
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a law in the United States that lets some workers take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected time off each year for family and medical reasons.
The FMLA covers:
- The birth of a child and taking care of the baby for the first year.
- The child’s placement for adoption or foster care and taking care of the child for the first year after order.
- Care for the employee’s sick spouse, child, or parent
- A severe health problem that keeps the worker from living an everyday life
The Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act
The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) is a federal law in the United States that says people can’t be treated differently because of their genetic information. Title II of GINA makes sure that health insurance companies and plan administrators don’t mistreat people.
The law says that employers can’t ask for, require, or buy genetic information, with a few exceptions. It also says that employers can’t punish workers who don’t want to give their genetic information.
If your disability has led to unfair treatment at work, you should talk to a lawyer. Pacific Employment Attorneys can help you file a claim to get the justice you deserve. Call us at (213) 486-3084 to set up your free first consultation.