No Recovery, No Fee | Free Consultations

Combatting Disability Discrimination in the California Workplace

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.
Law theme, mallet of the judge, law enforcement officers, evidence-based cases

In California, employees are protected by robust laws that prohibit discrimination based on disability in the workplace. These laws aim to ensure that individuals with disabilities have equal opportunities for employment and are treated fairly in all aspects of the workplace. If you or someone you know is facing disability discrimination, understanding your rights and the steps to combat it is crucial. Here’s what you need to know:

Know Your Rights

Under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees or job applicants based on their disability status. Disability discrimination can take various forms, including:

  1. Refusing to hire or promote someone because of their disability.
  2. Harassing or creating a hostile work environment based on disability.
  3. Failing to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities.
  4. Retaliating against employees for requesting accommodations or asserting their rights under disability laws.

Requesting Reasonable Accommodations

If you have a disability and require accommodations to perform your job duties, you have the right to request reasonable accommodations from your employer. Reasonable accommodations are modifications or adjustments to the workplace or job duties that enable individuals with disabilities to perform their essential job functions. Examples of reasonable accommodations may include:

  1. Modified work schedules or breaks.
  2. Assistive technology or ergonomic equipment.
  3. Changes to job duties or responsibilities.
  4. Modification of workplace policies or procedures.

Under the law, employers are required to engage in an interactive process with employees to identify and implement reasonable accommodations. Employers are also prohibited from retaliating against employees for requesting accommodations or asserting their rights under disability laws.

Steps to Combat Disability Discrimination

If you believe you have been subjected to disability discrimination in the workplace, here are steps you can take to address the issue:

  1. Document Incidents: Keep a detailed record of any instances of discrimination or failure to provide accommodations, including dates, times, witnesses, and any relevant communications.
  2. Inform Your Employer: If you feel comfortable doing so, inform your employer or HR department about the discrimination you’re experiencing. Follow any internal procedures outlined by your company for reporting discrimination or requesting accommodations.
  3. Seek Legal Advice: Consider consulting with an experienced employment attorney who specializes in disability discrimination cases. They can advise you on your rights and options for recourse under state and federal law.
  4. File a Complaint: If informal measures fail to resolve the issue, you may choose to file a formal complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). These agencies will investigate your complaint and may take legal action if discrimination is found.


Combatting disability discrimination in the California workplace requires awareness of your rights, effective communication with your employer, and, if necessary, seeking legal assistance. By standing up for your rights and holding employers accountable for discriminatory practices, you can help create a more inclusive and equitable work environment for individuals with disabilities. Remember, you are entitled to equal treatment and opportunities in the workplace, regardless of your disability status.