We Help Protect
California's Employees

Disability Discrimination Attorney

The federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects employees with disabilities. Despite the law, many people with disabilities face discrimination and unfair treatment in the workplace. As a disabled employee, you have rights and should not be subjected to illegal treatment at work. 

At Le Clerc & Le Clerc LLP in San Francisco, our attorneys understand the requirements of the ADA and California disability laws. We are dedicated to helping disabled employees understand their rights. If your rights have been violated, we will help you take legal action to hold your employer accountable for its actions.

You Are Protected by the ADA

According to the ADA, anyone who has a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits major life activities is considered disabled. Disabilities don’t need to be permanent to make you eligible for protection under the ADA. Examples of disabilities covered by the ADA include:

  • Vision limitations
  • Hearing problems
  • Broken bones
  • Arthritis
  • Limitations caused by pregnancy
  • ADHD, autism, and other learning disabilities

Anyone with disabilities is owed reasonable accommodations by their employer as long as they can still perform their role with those accommodations. An accommodation is considered reasonable as long as it doesn’t put the employ or others in the workplace in immediate danger and does not pose an undue burden.

You Are Entitled to Reasonable Accommodations

Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to help employees with disabilities perform their job duties, which includes meeting with the employee to determine what type of accommodations are necessary.

Reasonable accommodations in the workplace can include:

  • Providing sign language interpreters for deaf employees or readers for blind employees
  • Making physical changes to the workspace, such as installing a ramp
  • Providing a quieter workspace for reducing distractions
  • Providing training materials in an accessible format
  • Providing time off so employees can seek treatment
  • Protecting employees’ jobs during FMLA or CFRA leave

Our lawyers have experience helping employees with disabilities understand their rights in the workplace. This includes interacting with employees, taking leaves, and seeking leave as an accommodation.

You may be able to file a claim if your employer has failed to provide accommodations or did not allow you to take leave because of your disability. It is essential to recognize your disability rights to protect your job now and in the future. Do not let your employer’s reluctance to support you harm your career going forward. Instead, take action and pursue the accommodations you need to do your job. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What disqualifies a person from taking leave from work?

There are many factors that could disqualify you from taking leave under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), including:

  • Employer size: If your employer has fewer than five employees, it is not covered by the CFRA and your employer does not need to maintain your health insurance or offer you your job back within 12 weeks of leave.
  • Length of employment: If you have not worked for your employer for at least 12 months and 1250 hours in the last year, your job is not protected under CFRA if you need to take leave.
  • Length of disability: If you need more than 12 weeks of disability leave, your job is no longer protected under CFRA. 

None of these considerations disqualify you from receiving disability insurance benefits and payments. They just mean that if you must take time off work to recover from an accident, your job is not necessarily protected. 

Additionally, even if not eligible for leave pursuant to the CFRA, you may be entitled to leave as
a reasonable accommodation pursuant to the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).

How many months does SSDI back pay?

SSDI will pay up to 12 months of retroactive benefits depending on how long you waiting to have your application approved. However, SSDI has a mandatory five-month waiting period that begins on the first day of the month after the Established Onset Date (EOD) of your disability. These months are not counted in your SSDI back pay period. 

This means that if your EOD is January 15th, 2023, and your SSDI application is approved in May 2023, you will receive no back pay. However, if your EOD is January 15th, 2022, and your SSDI application is approved in May 2023, you will receive 11 months of back pay, starting from July 2022. January 2022 is not counted toward your benefits, and February through June constitute the five-month waiting period.

What is considered to be a permanent disability?

A permanent disability is a physical or mental condition that continues to impact your ability to work or live your life after you have reached your Maximal Medical Improvement (MMI). Common examples of permanent disabilities include:

  • Amputations
  • Deafness
  • Blindness
  • Chronic lung disease
  • Nerve damage
  • PTSD

Your doctor will write a “permanent and stationary” (P&S) report to outline the extent of your injury and its impact on your life once they determine that it is unlikely to further improve. This report will be used to determine your disability benefits. 

What is the Disability Discrimination Act at work?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the law that protects disabled workers from
discrimination at work. In California the law is called the Fair Employment and Housing Act
(FEHA). This law requires employers to provide disabled employees with reasonable
accommodations to allow them to perform their work. California law prohibits
employers from discriminating against an employee for a physical or mental disability
unless if it limits their ability to do the fundamental tasks the role requires, such as lifting heavy objects, twisting and bending, or answering phones even with reasonable

Is stress a disability under the ADA?

Stress is only considered an impairment protected under the ADA if they result from a documented physical or mental disorder. This includes stress caused by anxiety disorders and PTSD, or stress that exacerbates medical problems such as high blood pressure or heart disease. Stress caused by job pressures or problems in an employee’s personal life is not considered a disability. 

Contact Us to See If You Have a Claim

Our law firm will carefully review your specific situation to determine all of your options. We care about protecting disabled employees’ rights, and we will be here for you every step of the way. To schedule a free initial consultation, call us at 415-445-0900 or contact us online.