As a general rule, California employers are required to make reasonable accommodations for employees who have mental or physical disabilities. In addition to complying with the law, making reasonable accommodations can help workers feel like valued members of the organization. It may also make it easier for workers to be consistently productive members of an organization in spite of their perceived limitations.
Not all disabilities are visible
It’s important to understand that many people have mental or physical health issues that aren’t obvious just by looking at them. For instance, someone who suffered a concussion in a car accident may have difficulty concentrating. That person might also have difficulty working in areas that have bright lights as it might result in headaches.
Failing to treat those individuals with respect simply because they don’t look like they are in pain could cause them to suffer from a loss of morale. It’s not uncommon for those who are depressed to experience higher rates of absenteeism.
Workplace policies must treat everyone the same
Workplace policies cannot have a disparate impact on a single group of workers even if there is no intent to discriminate against those individuals. For example, an individual generally cannot be forced to start work at 8 a.m. if he or she has a sleep disorder. If you feel as if you’re being treated unfairly at work, you may want to talk to an advocate who is familiar with your specific disability issues.
If you feel as if your employer isn’t taking your disability seriously, it may be worthwhile to take legal action. In the event that your discrimination claim is successful, you might be able to recoup any losses that you incurred because of your employer’s illegal activity.