Medical Condition

Medical Conditions in California

A Sacramento Employment Lawyer Protects Your Rights on the Job

Many residents and citizens in California have one or more medical conditions that affect their daily lives in some way or other. The effects of these conditions can be nothing more than minor irritations, or they can be debilitating and necessitate the use of artificial means of assistance in order to complete simple tasks. Even where a person suffers from serious limitations in their ability to function and complete tasks, such an individual may still need to work.

Federal and state laws like the California Fair Employment and Housing Act prohibit employers from discriminating (or treating differently and negatively) an employee who has a medical condition or who requires an accommodation because of a medical condition. If you have been the victim of medical condition discrimination in the workplace, you may be entitled to monetary damages.

Medical Condition Discrimination: What Is It?

Discrimination occurs any time one person with a medical condition is treated differently than an employee that does not have that medical condition. Discriminatory treatment may be overt or may be unintentional, but in either case, the overall morale and productivity of the business is negatively impacted.

Examples of medical condition discrimination include:

  • Refusing to allow someone with a medical condition to be appointed or selected for a job because of a belief the person is unable to complete the essential job functions;
  • Refusing to hire someone after learning he or she has a medical condition or requires accommodations;
  • Providing accommodations to an employee with a medical condition when the employee has neither requested accommodations nor needs accommodations;
  • Making jokes about an employee’s medical conditions and/or its symptoms;
  • Refusing to make reasonable accommodations for an employee with a medical condition when requested and where the requested accommodation does not present a significant burden to the employer.

Even where the employer is not directly responsible for medical discrimination, the employer has an obligation to ensure other employees or supervisors do not engage in discrimination against the employee in the workplace. An employer who knows or should know that medical condition discrimination is taking place but who allows it to occur anyway can be held responsible in a civil suit and be required to pay damages.

What Reasonable Accommodations Must My Employer Make?

If you have a medical condition that impacts your ability to work, or if you need assistance in the job application and interview process, state and federal laws require that the employer provide you with reasonable accommodations. These accommodations should ideally be decided upon by both you and the employer and should be designed to assist you in either applying for a job or completing the duties of your job position.

Accommodations can include:

  • Renovating the workspace to accommodate your wheelchair or mobility device;
  • Allowing you to take more frequent breaks or to use the restroom more frequently;
  • Lowering shelving so that you can reach things more easily;
  • Other steps designed to assist you in completing essential functions.

An employer is not required to make accommodations that “unduly burden” the employer given the employer’s financial situation.

Contact my office today by calling 916-443-3553 and discussing your case during an initial consultation.