Employment Discrimination

08 Jan What Qualifies As a Mental Disability?

The question about what constitutes a mental disability under the law isn’t necessarily focused on specific conditions. There’s not an exhaustive list of mental conditions that qualify as disability. The important question is whether a mental condition limits the performance of a major life activity. It is not so important what name you give to the condition; what matters are the symptoms and how it limits your major life activities. That being said, there are a number of mental conditions that I see quite a bit in my practice that often do constitute a mental disability. Bipolar disorder is a common mental disability that I see that has become an issue in my practice. Bipolar disorder is a condition where a person suffers from depressive episodes and manic episodes. In either situation, whether someone is suffering from a depressive episode or a manic episode, it can have a major impact on a persons’ ability to perform their job. A similar condition, although it’s not identical (there are key distinctions) is Major Depressive Disorder, and it can also greatly affect a person’s ability to do their job. People with major depressive disorder can suffer from insomnia, may have a hard time getting out of bed, and can suffer from physical symptoms that are related to their depression. They can also suffer from side effects of medications used to treat the depression. Major depressive disorder can have profound impacts on a persons’ ability to perform their job. If you have experienced discrimination by your employer because of a mental disability, contact an employment lawyer today at the Khadder Law Firm for a free initial consultation....

Read More

15 Dec Degenerative Diseases: Must An Employer Keep You on Until You Are Unable to Perform the Essential Functions of Your Job?

It is important to note that if you cannot perform the essential functions of your job, even with an accommodation, then the employer does not have an obligation to keep you employed. This is where the accommodation requirement is essential - so that people who have disabilities or degenerative medical conditions will have reasonable accommodations for as long as they can perform the essential functions of their job with the accommodation. If it comes to the point where, despite all of the reasonable accommodations, the employee cannot perform the essential functions of their job, then the employer may not be required to keep them employed. The question of what are essential functions are taken on a case-by-case basis: It’s a fact-intensive inquiry. Ideally, the essential functions will be construed as narrowly as possible, because employers will often argue that there is a whole list of essential functions even though there really are only one or two essential functions. The challenge is to narrow this lists of essential functions so that an employer is not permitted to terminate you because you can’t perform something they claim is an essential function, but is, in fact, objectively not. If you have been discriminated on the basis of your disability by your employer, or future potential disability, contact an employment lawyer today at the Khadder Law Firm for a free initial consultation.  ...

Read More

12 Dec What if I’m afraid of making the overtime claim because I might lose my job?

This is a legitimate concern that many employees have, and unfortunately, there is no perfect protection against an employee who seeks to enforce their rights to overtime and other pay laws. The good news is that California law prohibits retaliation against an employee who asserts their rights under the wage and hour laws. California labor code 1102.5 (see below) is a particularly powerful tool for going after employers that retaliate against you for asserting your rights under the labor code. There are other provisions in the labor code that also prohibit retaliation, and provide that the person can sue on those claims, but labor code section 1102.5 is the most commonly used. In addition, because Section 1102.5 falls within the California labor code, an employee may also be able to sue under the Private Attorney General Act and recover attorney’s fees for any retaliation that he or she experienced because they sue to enforce their rights to overtime pay. < California Labor Code 1102.5 > Labor Code - LAB DIVISION 2. EMPLOYMENT REGULATION AND SUPERVISION [200 - 2699.5]  ( Division 2 enacted by Stats. 1937, Ch. 90. ) PART 3. PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES [920 - 1138.5]  ( Part 3 enacted by Stats. 1937, Ch. 90. ) CHAPTER 5. Political Affiliations [1101 - 1106]  ( Chapter 5 enacted by Stats. 1937, Ch. 90. ) 1102.5. (a) An employer, or any person acting on behalf of the employer, shall not make, adopt, or enforce any rule, regulation, or policy preventing an employee from disclosing information to a government or law enforcement agency, to a person with authority over the employee, or to another employee who has authority to investigate, discover, or correct the violation or noncompliance, or from providing information to, or testifying before, any public body conducting an investigation, hearing, or inquiry, if the employee has reasonable cause to believe that the information discloses a violation of state or federal statute, or a violation of or noncompliance with a local, state, or federal rule or regulation, regardless of whether disclosing the information is part of the employee’s job duties. (b) An employer, or any person acting on behalf of the employer, shall not retaliate against an employee for disclosing information, or because the employer believes that the employee disclosed or may disclose information, to a government or law enforcement agency, to a person with authority over the employee or another employee who has the authority to investigate, discover, or correct the violation or noncompliance, or for providing information to, or testifying before, any public body conducting an investigation, hearing, or inquiry, if the employee has reasonable cause to believe that the information discloses a violation of state or federal statute, or a violation of or noncompliance with a local, state, or federal rule or regulation, regardless of whether disclosing the information is part of the employee’s job duties. (c) An employer, or any person acting on behalf of the employer, shall not retaliate against an employee for refusing to participate in an activity that would result in a violation of state or federal statute, or a violation of or noncompliance with a local, state, or federal rule or regulation. (d) An employer, or any person acting on behalf of the employer, shall not retaliate against an employee for having exercised his or her rights under subdivision (a), (b), or (c) in any former employment. (e) A report made by an employee of a government agency to his or her employer is a disclosure of information to a government or law enforcement agency pursuant to subdivisions (a) and (b). (f) In addition to other penalties, an employer that is a corporation or limited liability company is liable for a civil penalty not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for each violation of this section. (g) This section does not apply to rules, regulations, or policies that implement, or to actions by employers against employees who violate, the confidentiality of the lawyer-client privilege of Article 3 (commencing with Section 950) of, or the physician-patient privilege of Article 6 (commencing with Section 990) of, Chapter 4 of Division 8 of the Evidence Code, or trade secret information. (h) An employer, or a person acting on behalf of the employer, shall not retaliate against an employee because the employee is a family member of a person who has, or is perceived to have, engaged in any acts protected by this section. (i) For purposes of this section, “employer” or “a person acting on behalf of the employer” includes, but is not limited to, a client employer as defined in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 2810.3 and an employer listed in subdivision (b) of Section 6400. (Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 792, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2016.) If your employer has retaliated against you for making an overtime claim, contact an employment lawyer today at the Khadder Law Firm for a free initial consultation....

Read More

02 Dec Degenerative or Progressive Conditions: FEHA’s Protection of Employees from Future Discrimination

The FEHA prohibits discrimination of physical or mental disabilities that actually exist, or that they believe to exist, even though it doesn’t actually exist. It is also unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an employee who doesn’t currently have a disability but may have a disabling condition sometime in the future. For instance, if an employee has HIV, but not AIDS, they may not presently have any limits on their major life activities. But, if the employer knows that at some point in the future they could become disabled by AIDS, then they might discriminate against that employee. The FEHA clearly prohibits that. Similarly, if someone has some kind of congenital heart disorder, it may not presently constitute a disability because it doesn’t cause limits on their major life activities. But, if the employer believes that in the future it may, they may also discriminate against that employee, and they are prohibited from doing so. There are other examples, but the main point is that if you have an issue or condition that is not presently disabiling, but may become disabling sometime in the future, the fact that it may become disabling prevents an employer from discriminating against you. If you have been discriminated on the basis of your disability by your employer, or future potential disability, contact an employment lawyer today at the Khadder Law Firm for a free initial consultation....

Read More

15 Aug Protection for Employees with Mental Disabilities

The law prohibits discrimination against people with mental disabilities just as much as it prohibits discrimination because of physical disabilities. For examples, people with depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or anxiety may qualify as disabled, and be protected from discrimination by their employers. I will explore the specifics of mental disability discrimination in future blog posts, so stay tuned. In the meantime, if you believe that you have been discriminated against because of a mental disability, it is important to speak with a labor and employment attorney right away. A labor and employment attorney can help you evaluate whether you have experienced disability discrimination. A San Francisco and Bay Area labor and employment attorney at the Khadder Law Firm is experienced in evaluating all forms of disability discrimination claims. Contact the Khadder Law Firm today for a free consultation....

Read More