As California workers may know, discrimination in the workplace is illegal, including discrimination against the disabled. The law also protects against discrimination if a worker has a disabled family member. There are exceptions to the law. An employer may not be able to make accommodations for a disabled employee if the modifications should prove to cause undue hardship for the employer. If several options are available to provide accommodations, the employer may choose which to use. Anti-discrimination laws protect the disabled but may not apply to every individual.
Disabilities are defined as those lasting six months or more and may include a permanent disability, such as deafness or physical impairment, or it may present itself as a minor disability. Disability also extends to physical illnesses, such as cancer. Accommodation for the disabled may vary depending on the disability.
An individual with a wheelchair may require a ramp to enter the workplace or special consideration to move around the office. An individual who suffers from blindness may require a computer or other equipment that uses voice in order to do his or her job. Workplace discrimination laws protect more than just a worker currently in a job. It also provides for protection against unfair hiring practices, unequal pay and job assignments and layoffs.
While harassment against a disabled employee does not include minor comments or occasional problems from an employer or other employee, it does protect a worker from continued harassment that may create a workplace that is hostile to the worker, including harassment from company clients. A worker who feels that he or she has been discriminated against because of a disability may benefit by consultation with an attorney. The attorney may provide information about disability discrimination as well as help the individual file a complaint with the appropriate agency.