California Disability Discrimination Laws

Sacramento Employment Discrimination Based on Disability

Both the federal and California law prohibit employers from discriminating against any applicants or employees who have disabilities. The protection extends to current disabilities, a history of disabilities, or any relation to an individual with disabilities. The Sacramento disability discrimination law also prohibits employers from discriminating against employees or applicants because of a perceived disability or medical condition.

To add to this, if an employer is aware that an employee has a medical condition or disability, the employer should engage in an interactive process with the employee to determine what accommodations are available. The employer is also supposed to offer a reasonable accommodation to the employee. They will only be allowed not to do so if it would be an undue hardship or put the employee or other employees at risk. Failure to do this is a violation of both federal and California disability discrimination laws.

The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) was passed in 1974, and through the California law, it gives protection to the disabled employees from being discriminated against in places of work. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is its federal counterpart and defines disability as having a mental or physical impairment that may substantially limit one or more essential life activities. But FEHA’s definition is more broad and forgiving, making it easier to file a claim.

Under FEHA, disability may be defined as a mental or physical impairment that limits a primary life function, for example, working. FEHA categorizes instances of stress, anxiety, arthritis, depression, irritable bowel syndrome, frequent urination, and PTSD as disabilities. Additionally, more severe medical conditions like lupus, cancer, or multiple sclerosis are also covered.

For an employee to be protected under disability discrimination laws, they should meet one of these conditions:

·         Have mental or physical health that limits a significant life activity.

·         Have a record or history of a condition.

·         They are considered to have an impairment or subjected to discrimination as a result of the perceived impairment.

Under the California discrimination laws, employees who take care of people with disabilities are also protected in certain circumstances. So, a person who has a child or parent with a physical or mental disability may be protected under the FEHA. 


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