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Providing legal counsel to San Jose and the Bay Area for over 30 years in the areas of criminal defense, personal injury, employment and disability law.
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Disability and Your Rights

Posted on in Employment

Though the Americans with Disabilities Act has been around for over twenty-five years, people with disabilities still face many forms of discrimination. Though the ADA forced employers to recognize that people with disabilities are capable of performing substantive work with reasonable accommodations, some employers still consider disability status when making hiring, firing, or layoff decisions. Therefore, if you or someone you know has a disability, consider the following information regarding your rights.

  • Your employer cannot consider your disability as a basis for termination. As long as you can perform your job with a reasonable accommodation, your disability cannot be a basis for firing or layoff. Reasonable accommodations are adjustments to a position or workplace that enable an employee to do his or her job with a disability. Reasonable accommodations can vary from providing a stool for a cashier to rest between customers or allowing additional bathroom breaks for an employee with diabetes. So long as the accommodation does not provide the employer "undue hardship," it must be willing to accommodate you.
  • The adverse decision of the employer or potential employer does not have to be based upon an actual disability. If an employer refuses to hire you or pays you less on the basis of only a "perceived" disability, the employer's action is illegal. A perceived disability is where the employer believes that your medical status will result in an impairment to perform the essential functions of your job (and would require accommodation) even though your condition does not actually result in such an impairment. An example would be an individual who is asymptomatic HIV+ but the employer perceives there to be limitations because of the employee's HIV status.
  • If you have been discriminated against because of your disability or perceived disability, you have a right to legal recourse. Though too many people suffer from disability discrimination in silence, you have the right to have your voice heard. If you believe you or someone you know has been subjected to disability discrimination, contact us for a free consultation.

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