Disability Discrimination & Reasonable Accommodation
Employees with disabilities have a unique set of legal rights. The law
prohibits employers from refusing to hire a
qualified individual with a disability because of that individual's disability.
Individuals with disabilities are also protected from harassment based
on their disability and from disparate treatment relative to non-disabled
employees in the workplace.
In many cases, the law may require an employer to provide a "reasonable
accommodation" enabling a disabled employee to do their job duties.
The law broadly defines a person with a disability as someone with a physical
or mental impairment that substantially affects their ability to do their
job, or a person with a record or a history of an impairment that is known
to the employer. In such cases, the law may require an employer to treat
a disabled employee
differently from other employees, by removing or eliminating barriers to the employee's
ability to perform their job. Some examples of reasonable accommodation
include job modifications to remove or reassign job duties that are not
essential to the position, changes in an employee's work schedule,
telecommuting, changes in supervisory methods, or assistive technologies
such as voice activated computer software for visually impaired employees.
The appropriate accommodations will vary in each case according to the
nature of the employee's disability and the specifics of their job
duties, as well as the size of the employer. Reasonable accommodation
cases are very fact intensive and complex and require careful attention
to detail. At our firm we are passionate about representing disabled employees
with tenacity, skill and a creative, problem-solving approach.
Our firm is proud of our longstanding commitment to shaping disability
law. We litigated the precedent setting case of
Gambini v. Total Renal Care Inc., 486 F.3d 1087 (9th Cir. 2007), including an appeal to Ninth Circuit Court.
The Ninth Circuit reversed the jury verdict in favor of the employer and
held that an employer cannot summarily fire a disabled employee for conduct
that the employer knows is caused by the employee's disability, including
mental or psychiatric disabilities.