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Disability & Medical Discrimination

The Federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and California law prohibit workplace discrimination due to disability. Yet, many disabled workers in California are already dealing with the stresses of living with a disability and struggling with many challenges. It is illegal for an employer to refuse to accommodate your disability. Employers are required by law to make appropriate modifications to your workplace environment and accommodate your disability.  Some signs you might be being discriminated against include the following:

  • Failure to make reasonable accommodations for your disability

  • Failure to provide time off for doctor visits or cancer treatments

  • Retaliation after you have insisted on your rights under California and federal law

  • Termination based on your disability or medical condition

  • Demotion based on your disability or medical condition

  • Discrimination because of a perceived disability

  • Forcing you to work despite medical restrictions

  • Discrimination based on a disability plus other factors, such as age, race, pregnancy or sex

  • Punishment because of a perceived or real disability, or cancer

Sadly, many of those that are dealing with the life altering effects of a disability or medical conditions are also most vulnerable to discrimination.  Dealing with the effects of cancer, amputation, paralysis, organ damage, chronic illness, degenerative diseases and blindness can be hard enough.  But when employers won’t hire you or harass or fire you because of your condition, then you need justice. Those who are returning from disability leave after receiving worker’s compensation, family medical leave, California family rights act leave or maternity leave may also be discriminated against in the workplace.

In all of these situations, it’s important that you hire the firm of Shalchi Burch to fight for you.



  • Shoulder injury

  • Foot injury

  • Neck injury

  • Leg injury

  • Back injury

  • Hand injury

  • Eye injury

  • Wrist injury

  • Jaw injury

  • Hip injury

  • Ankle injury

  • Severe migraine headaches

  • Diabetes

  • Emphysema

  • Leukemia

  • Lymphoma

  • Epilepsy

  • Anemia, sickle cell

  • Polycystic kidney

  • Cancer, including but not limited to breast

  • Cancer, ovarian, lung, colon, malignant melanoma, pancreatic and prostate cancer

  • Tuberculous sclerosis

  • Asthma

  • Huntington disease

  • Spinal muscular atrophy

  • Cystic fibrosis

  • Lung carcinoma

  • Osteoporosis

  • Aneurysm

  • Arthritis

  • Ulcer

  • Epilepsy

  • Heart

  • Parkinson disease

  • Cerebral Palsy

  • Bidactyly

  • Insulinoma

  • Bipolar

  • Chronic Depression


Under the California Fair Employment Housing Act (the “FEHA”), employers must reasonably accommodate employees with disabilities, and this process has been termed an “interactive process.”  The employer is responsible for doing the following:

  • Analyzing the position and job description and identifying its purpose and essential functions

  • Work with the employee with the disability to identify any barriers that exist for the employee because of their disability. This analysis must include a thorough review of all limitations and tasks that may not be easy to complete because of the employee’s disability.


Employers must explore accommodation options in good faith.  They must look out for the best interests of the employee so that they can effectively do their job. They must also communicate directly with the employee, and neither side is permitted to delay or obstruct this process. Employers must be cooperate and be proactive in identifying barriers to job performance. Failure to engage in these activities may be grounds for failure to engage in the interactive process.


If you believe you are a victim of disability discrimination, disability harassment or retaliation, or if your business is facing such claims, contact Shalchi Burch today.  We will evaluate your case and fight for you.

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