Undue Hardship

14 Feb If someone were denied employment and more qualified for the job than the applicant who was successful in getting the job, how does one prove that case?

Let’s first look at a situation where an applicant with a disability objectively is not as qualified as a person without a disability. Let’s assume that their qualifications are not less than a person without a disability because of their disability, but it’s because of some other factor such as education or skill. The employer doesn’t have to give preference to the person with a disability if that person with a disability is objectively less qualified than the person without a disability. If the employer hires the person without a disability over someone with a disability who is more qualified, that, in and of itself, can be evidence of discrimination. Rarely is there direct evidence of discrimination in disability cases or other cases. It is extremely rare where you would have evidence of an employer writing an e-mail or sending a message to the effect of, “I don’t want to hire that person because of their disability,” because employers are a lot savvier than that. You have to show through circumstantial evidence that it is more likely than not that you, as a person with a disability, did not get a job because of your disability. There could be stray comments to prove discrimination on the part of an employer to hire you, you may have evidence of comments that were made by an employer or supervisor where they made fun of people with disabilities, where they treated other people with disabilities poorly, or other things to show that the person had a discriminatory animus toward people with disabilities. There is very rarely any direct evidence of discrimination, but with enough circumstantial evidence you may be able to overcome the burden of proof to prevail on a disability discrimination claim. In California law, and more recently in the California Supreme Court, it was held that the disability has to be a substantial motivating factor for the employer’s decision not to hire or to fire, or do some other adverse employment action. Therefore, you have to show that the employer was substantially motivated by your disability. That raises the bar a little bit. It used to just be simple motivation: Your prospective employer could have ten reasons why they didn’t hire you, and one of the reasons of those ten was your disability, and the other nine were non-protected reasons. Now, the bar is a little bit higher. In the past, that was enough to win on a disability discrimination case. Now, it’s got to be a little bit more than that; it has to be a substantial motivating factor. If you have been refused a job because of a disability or a need for a disability accommodation, contact an employment lawyer today at the Khadder Law Firm for a free initial consultation.  ...

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29 Jan Accommodations for Learning Disabilities

Another disability that I’ve seen in my practice is different forms of learning disabilities. One example might be dyslexia, which can affect the speed at which somebody can perform certain tasks, such as reading or writing. If that limits a major life activity, it could qualify as a disability that an employer may have to accommodate and is prohibited from discriminating against. For instance, with certain learning disabilities, your employer could be required to provide an accommodation such as giving you more time to perform certain job duties. There is a limit to what can be a reasonable accommodation. Your employer doesn’t have to provide an accommodation that creates an undue hardship on the employer. But, the accommodation requirements are quite broad, so the employer would have to show a real hardship that they would face if they had to accommodate you. In my practice, almost all the time, especially with larger employers, reasonable accommodations do not in fact present an undue hardship to the employer, even if the employer claims that it does. A court will take a look at it and will want to see evidence of the hardship a reasonable accommodation could cause for the employer. In my experience, more often than not, the court denies the employer’s claim of undue hardship. If you have experienced discrimination by your employer because of a learning disability, or your employer fails to provide you with a reasonable accommodation for your learning disability, contact an employment lawyer today at the Khadder Law Firm for a free initial consultation.  ...

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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....

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