Everyone deserves to work in an environment free from discrimination and harassment. To protect disabled workers, legislators enacted federal and state laws.
At the federal level, the Americans with Disabilities Act protects disabled employees. At the state level, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act further protects disabled California employees.
Yet, even with laws in place, disabled workers still face workplace discrimination. Sadly, when this occurs, they may believe there is little they can do to fight back.
Fortunately, there are ways to handle disability discrimination in the workplace.
Know Your Rights
The first step towards handling disability discrimination in the workplace is to know your rights. Explain your case and why you experienced disability discrimination. Your employer may want to do the right thing once they know what happened.
In some cases, your employer may not realize that they have committed disability discrimination. For example, the ADA requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for your disability. Your employer may not realize that a reasonable accommodation exists. By alerting them to your rights, you can protect yourself from further discrimination.
File an Internal Complaint
What can you do if you have asserted your rights and your employer has not acted? In this case, it is time to file a more formal complaint. Filing a formal complaint notifies others that disability discrimination has occurred. It also gives your employer a chance to correct the issue.
Be sure to file your internal complaint with human resources or higher management. This gives them legal notice of your disability discrimination claim.
If you need to file a future disability discrimination lawsuit, your complaint and your employer’s response will be important evidence. Their lack of response could also expose your employer to punitive damages.
File a Charge of Discrimination
What can you do if your employer fails to address your complaint? Your next step would be to file a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In California, employees can also file a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).
There are time limits for filing this claim. To preserve your claim in California, you must file with the DFEH within one year of the date of discrimination. To preserve your claim under federal law, you must file within 300 days.
Hire a Disability Discrimination Lawyer
Once you have filed a formal charge of discrimination, the DFEH or the EEOC will process your charge. They will send you a letter giving you the right to file a disability discrimination lawsuit.
Once you receive this letter, contact a San Diego disability discrimination attorney immediately. Your attorney will be able to ensure that you do not miss any critical deadlines. With a lawyer on your side, your case will proceed efficiently and fairly through the courts.
Contact Our San Diego Disability Discrimination Lawyers Today
No one should experience discrimination because of a disability. Unfortunately, disability in the workplace occurs frequently. Yet, proving that you are a victim of disability discrimination is not easy. That is why you need an experienced disability discrimination lawyer on your side from the start.
At The Gould Firm, our San Diego disability discrimination lawyers are here to help. We hold businesses accountable for discriminatory practices. To learn more, contact us at (619) 273-3431 or fill out our confidential contact form to schedule your free consultation.